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Julie Heffernan (born 1956 in Peoria, Illinois); American painter whose work has been described by the writer Rebecca Solnit as "a new kind of history painting" and by The New Yorker as "ironic rococo surrealism with a social-satirical twist." Heffernan has been a Professor of Fine Arts at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey since 1997. She currently lives in NYC.
She received a BFA in Painting and Printmaking at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1981 and, in 1985, an MFA in Painting at the Yale School of Art.
Heffernan was raised in Northern California as a Catholic, which influenced the theme of figurative imagery in her works. Her imaginative landscapes feature such elements as exploding cities, castoff gods and garbage, and falling torrents of animals, meteors and gemstones. These elements reflect her view of the world after "calamities" such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill threaten to make it unlivable. Her pieces of artwork have a fantasy like feeling but have a metephorical meaning behind them talking about issues that are happening around the world during the time she is creating the piece of artwork.
Writing in The NY Sun, art critic David Cohen says of Heffernan's work in a 2007 exhibition: "These paintings are a hybrid of genres and styles, mixing allegory, portraiture, history painting, and still life, while in title they are all presented as self-portraits."
In October 2013, she exhibited 11 paintings in her exhibition Sky is Falling at the PPOW gallery, NYC.
She is the recipient of many grants and fellowships including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, a Fulbright-Hayes grant to West Berlin, and several awards from the National Academy Museum.
Heffernan, along with artist Virginia Wagner, runs "Painters on Paintings," a blog launched in 2014...
Some of her paintings go for the upper tens of thousands...