Julia San Román was born in Madrid, Spain, where the sun is abundant and the quality of light shapes the everyday landscape. As a child she was fascinated with art; however, she concentrated her formal education on science, choosing to move to the United States to further her career, ultimately earning a Phd in Biology. She found herself transplanted in sunny San Diego, CA, a place where the atmospheric landscape mimics that of her home country. After receiving training in Studio Arts and Art History at the collegiate level, she committed her life to painting.
Light takes center stage in San Román’s latest body of work, assuming the role of protagonist while the role of antagonist is cast as large, foreboding nimbus clouds. In these celestial scenes, light is in constant battle with the clouds for room in the sky.
The red and yellow light beams explode through the grey amorphous masses, leaving a full spectrum of color in their wake. As the light vanquishes the dark, a feeling of optimism swells inside each of San Roman’s paintings.
San Román’s work also features depictions of Latino workers, paying homage to what she refers to as “the silent base of the American economy.” The nameless men and women bask in the light of the cloud paintings with heads turned up towards the sky in optimistic meditation. As she aptly explains, “I am creating a space in which to give dignity to my own dreams, mankind’s dream to find a dignity that might include all living things.”
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