Laura Lee Junge
Laura Lee Junge has been hailed as an ‘intoxicating' new talent on the American artistic front. Taking her inspiration from life experiences, Junge firmly believes that "the most honest painting is what one knows". This is clearly a philosophy she transfers to both her canvas and sculpted works. Junge's childhood years were split between Minnesota and Oklahoma, before attending university at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, initially concentrating on figure painting. With time, her paintings became more eclectic, in a style that critics have described as ‘surrealistic expressionism'. Junge, herself, remains a bit skeptical of any attempt to label her in a specific category.
A self-declared fascination with movement typifies almost all of Junge's artwork, which ranges dramatically from floral and inanimate renditions, to the worlds of musical expression or evocative, often jaded bar scenes. In these, a dark world seems to emerge from the soul of the canvas. No matter what the depiction, the fluidity of her work channels an energy that seems to defy the very nature of a one-dimensional canvas.
Junge has exhibited across the United States, often winning awards and gleaning accolades for her unique interpretative work. She is currently the proprietor and "in house" artist at the Jackson Junge Gallery. Despite the time constraints of the gallery, Junge maintains a heavy schedule of competitively juried art fairs across the country. An innate belief that art needs to be available to everyone is another underlying current of Junge's convictions. The intimacy of an art fair permits the kind of exchange between artist and potential collector that is so often overlooked in today's art scene.
When one asks why or what it is that I paint, the answer is very simple. I paint because I must and I paint what I feel. My inspirations are energy and movement and I strive to capture these on the canvas as I explore various subject matters. With the use of vigorously applied oils in various consistencies, I first attempt to create an environment that appears to be in motion. Then finishing with fine glazes and tighter painting movements, I add in the content of the story that the painting will tell.
As an emerging female Chicago artist, I attempt to reflect current social political issues, as well as personal life experiences in my work. In the majority of my work, I rely on the human figure to help tell a story and illustrate the emotional turbulence with which humans often struggle. In other groups of work, the focus is on inanimate objects becoming animated with the use of bold color passages and the feeling of movement throughout the work. While dealing with subject matters that are both intense and light hearted, it is my goal to touch the emotions of the human spirit.
BFA: Painting. Art Institute of Chicago. 1995
Still learning everyday!