A message of healing and renewal in these times of adversity
“Good Juju”, Julia Malakoff’s solo show of multimedia collages, is a joyful offering during difficult times. Visually impactful and pleasantly tactile, her creative collages consist of hand-painted wallpapers infused with vivid colors and images inspired by both the natural world and her own vivid imagination. “Colorful comfort and visual stories that inspire and bring a sense of renewal, joy – even magic – is the goal of my current collection of works,” explains Malakoff.
While his art is influenced by Henry Matisse, Malakoff’s most recent work has taken on a new direction that references the grim challenges posed by Covid-19 over the past year. “These are, without a doubt, extremely difficult times,” says the artist. “I am a Covid long haul, and while deeply grateful to have escaped the worst of this insidious disease, the virus robbed me of two of my five senses – taste and smell. As an artist, I’m used to trusting all of my senses, not just sight, to help me interpret my observations. Even though my physical senses have been partially muted, I move forward each day, working to portray the beauty and magic that still surrounds us, despite our current adversity – creating “good juju”, if you will. In doing so, I hope to help heal both myself, at least in spirit, as well as the many others who are suffering from their own adversities. “
“I rely more than ever on my creative instincts to soften my palette. Taking my frustration with me into the studio, I imagine how my food tastes by mixing a variety of colors to whet my visual appetite. I want to dive into a delicious paint palette and paint sweet flavors to distract myself from my own weakened and dysfunctional palate. In my attempt to create scents out of an insane situation, vivid colors are now popping up daily in my studio, creating rich sensations that I can not only see, but also almost taste and smell. And yet dark silhouettes and shadows have also started to feature prominently in my recent work. This obscurity reflects the reality of our current situation and the struggle it involves.
“The flowers in my imaginary healing gardens are planted using hand-painted wallpapers. The paper petals are applied layer by layer and detailed with a variety of markers and pencils. The stems and leaves are cut into whimsical shapes inspired by Matisse’s cutouts as well as my own photography of organic and inorganic subjects.
Malakoff believes that art should not only be a rejuvenating experience for the artist, but also for the viewer. “There is something about being playful that allows your mind to relax and then rejuvenate and invites the viewer to do the same. She is also an instructor and offers her Make Your Mark mixed media courses for all skill levels. Discover Malakoff’s work and learn more about his classes at juliamalakoff.com, and follow @juliamalakoffart on Instagram and Facebook.
“Good Juju” is on display at the Reston Art Gallery and Studios (RAGS) from October 2 to 31, open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. All are invited to meet Malakoff at a reception on Saturday October 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. [email protected] or contact the gallery via RestonArtGallery.com.
Visitors to “Good Juju” can also see works created by the other seven RAGS member artists that represent a range of artistic expressions and styles. Located at the lakeside “ART” sign at 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190 on historic Lake Anne Plaza, the gallery is steps from the Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market. For GPS directions and parking, search for “Lake Anne Plaza”. To follow @RAGSReston on Facebook, @RestonArtGallery on Instagram, and get more information on RestonArtGallery.com.
Above: Julia Malakoff – When you have lemons
About the Reston Art Gallery and Studios (RAGS)
A variety of works created to intrigue and inspire the viewer are on display and available for purchase at RAGS, a cooperative gallery of eight artists – Gail Axtell, Dorothy Donahey, Sandra Dovberg, Rosemarie Forsythe, Pat Macintyre, Julia Tova Malakoff, Marthe McGrath, and Wayne Schiffelbein. During the week, artists work on location, or in their home studios, preparing commissions, new works and their upcoming special exhibitions. RAGS presents new shows each month focusing on the latest works by individual artists, open every weekend. Gallery owner, director and artist Pat Macintyre continues her tradition of offering artistic enrichment to children with free and themed craft activities for children every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at RAGS. The orange “ART” sign on picturesque and historic Lake Anne Plaza leads to the glassed-in entrance to the Reston Art Gallery and Studios, a Reston landmark created in 1987, located on the lakefront of 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190. GPS: “Lake Anne Plaza” for directions to the parking lot. To follow @RAGSReston on Facebook, @RestonArtGallery on Instagram, and get more information on RestonArtGallery.com.