Stop Resisting

Julian Forrest

July 03 to August 29, 2010

Using appropriated photographs as found objects, Edmonton painter Julian Forrest's latest body of work explores themes of identity, loss of control, and violence at a remove.


Julian Forrest received his BFA from Mount Allison University and his MFA from the University of Alberta. He has received several awards and grants for his work, including a SSHRC Graduate Scholarship and three Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Awards, as well as creation grants from local, provincial and federal organizations. His work was included in the 2007 Alberta Biennial, and he is represented in the Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ permanent collection. This summer, his work will be featured alongside nine international artists at the Turn-Berlin Gallery in Germany. Julian is an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Alberta’s Augustana campus.


My most recent body of work explores themes of identity, loss of control, and violence – though often violence at a remove. Using appropriated photographs as found objects (e.g., jpegs or mpegs, the most immediate and uncensored images), I attempt to understand the pluralistic narratives that both underlie and are connected with these themes.

Stylistically I often cannibalize imagery that I feel is either symbolic or emblematic and recycle these parts in subsequent reworked narratives. My paintings owe to the source material, the found photos pulled from the internet (even though I alter these or juxtapose them with other images in order to speak to the idea of memory, context, and storytelling). For example, in some of my most recent paintings I have used images of fire, oil, playground violence, airplane crashes, wild dogs, and other symbolic means for exploring conflict and tension. These paintings often focus on two entities either coming together or pulling apart—violent in nature yet reactive in the painterly way I address them. This body of work recounts a narrative of real violence re-imagined.

- Julian Forrest, 2010