Londonart.co.uk's Managing Director Paul Wynter reviews an artist who has an incredibly diverse and image defining history.
Born in 1969 into a creative household (her brother Leo Verhoeven's paintings are also included on the Londonart.co.uk website) with a graphic designer father and illustrator mother, Julie Verhoeven has always had a strong motivation to pursue her chosen career path.
After being turned down as a degree student by St Martins, Julie went to work for the legendary John Galliano for four years. Following that, she worked for Martine Sitbon in Paris as a design assistant to consultant. Other consultancies have included Jasper Conran, Richard Tyler, Guy Laroche and Jean Colonna.
Breakthrough success came from her "Grimm's fairy-tale appliqué bags" for Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, but her grandest challenge was a new range for Gibo. When the president Franco Pene, already well known for using only uncompromising and challenging designers wanted a new range, Julie was recommended to him by Bettina Oldenberg. Bettina, who works for Gibo, was a former colleague at Martine Sitbon and recommended her as the ideal candidate for the job. Gibo has been the manufacturer for many great designers including Hussein Chalayan, Helmut Lang and Viktor & Rolf.
From bags by Louis Vuitton to album covers for the likes of Primal Scream and Kate Moss, Julie's work is extensive, provocative and fun. Throughout all of her vast repertoire though, the key to her work and passion is in her drawings; her fashion illustrations in particular have favoured attention world-wide.
Her project "Softporn" comes from her fascination with the comical aspects of human nature and not from any interest in the subject. Genitalia in particular is loaded with significance and used in ways that are multi-layered. The crux of Julie's work is about human nature and behaviour derived from observation with images being found in places other than the most obvious. Julie has also worked extensively illustrating magazines and newspapers, including Dazed & Confused, The Sunday Times, The Face, Tank and numerous others.
Julie Verhoeven's, most recent book GAS BOOK 13, Julie Verhoven, is published in Japan by Shinjiro Nishino. Isbn 4- 86083-364-3.
A short interview with Julie Verhoeven, included in her latest book 'Answers', reveals a passion for language and design. The defining meaning of the word 'design', she says, is 'Difficult', and she feels the presence of design around her most strongly when shopping.
Julie says her favourite designers are forever changing and her must-have materials include a pilot pen, lead pencil and taffeta. She loves colours based around aqua including lawn green, cerise and jade, and says that an exclamation mark is her most loved shape. Julie's favourite three words are hoot, hideous and nonsense, and if she could be anywhere, it would be in bed without her pet hates, ill health and her acne.
To view Julie Verhoven's general exhibition pages please click here