AND THE MONKEY MIND
by Kathryn T. S. Bass, Ph.D.
reamy, layered, and complex, Julie Maren’s evocative art transports its viewer. I first met the artist at a Denver Performing Arts Complex exhibition, where her rich, Fauvist-inspired palette caught my eye. At the time, my husband and I had just started dating, but we were both so drawn to the painter’s work – and in particular to a painting called St. Francis – that we found ourselves inspired to make our first large purchase as a couple. Maren’s lifetime love of making has led her down many paths. From months spent stone carving in far-flung locales like India and New Zealand to stints as a textile designer, she’s explored how visual narrative takes form in media as rigid as marble and as pliable as wool. All of this funnels back into her studio in Boulder, Colorado, where self-made collage elements, gorgeous pigments, and diverse media combine with the artist’s passions for philosophy, science, music, and environmentalism to form lyrical works that is rich in allegory. Recently, Maren invited me to her studio to look at her latest piece and discuss the many interests and singular drive that fuel her career.
Tell me about your newest triptych, Taming the Monkey Mind. Here, I’m playing with the idea of the brain being colonized by many ideas. The monkey mind refers to the Buddhist concept that the uncontrollable, wayward thoughts of the human mind are like monkeys jumping around on branches, but that the monkeys may be tamed though meditation. I used the chinoiserie wallpaper as a collage element to emphasize and play with the history of the fabric. Like our thoughts, the wallpaper is decorative, asymmetrical, and reflects
For more information, visit juliemaren.com
The Broad Museum in Los Angeles Art Basel Miami Beach Sailing in the Caribbean