Would you like to choose the subject of a commissioned Lipalux piece? Would you like to commission a work as a special gift where they are the subject? Would you like to be the featured spokesmodel in your own custom Liplaux piece? Contact me to learn more.
“Julie Lipa’s “Doomtown” has been an excellent addition to the Atomic Museum’s main gallery. Displayed at the entrance to the gallery, it serves to immediately capture guests’ attention, while also setting the stage for their journey back to the Atomic Age. We have received nothing but positive feedback on its inclusion from our guests, volunteers, staff, and trustees.”
Joseph Kent - Director of Curations and Exhibits at The Atomic Museum
"You're gutsy, creative and terrific. Thank you for wanting to include me in your fascinating work. "
Betty Furness - Iconic Westinghouse Spokesmodel and Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs .
"Julie Lipa’s new exhibit Beneath Perfection: The Underside of America’s Mid-Century Belle Epoque is strangely delightful and subversive. Oddly both retro and timely, Lipa’s work subtly reveals topical issues through a gauzy presentation of a false past of American culture. "
Peter Mays - Executive Director of the Los Angeles Art Association (LAAA) and its premiere La Cienega exhibition space Gallery 825.
Where do you get your ideas?
The process starts with a seed of an idea. Often inspiration comes from a vintage advertisement, a letter to an editor or newspaper article Once I've found a topic I want to explore I start researching it further on a newspaper archive website, looking for an interesting, provocative or disturbing elements that could be the basis for a story.
What would you call your work?
My short answer is mixed media mid-century art with a journalistic twist.
Where can I see the video that was part of your solo show art installation?
You can watch it here on my YouTube channel.
Why do you sometimes put the title of the piece on the artwork?
You can find the answer here on my YouTube channel.
Why is it about mid-century that appeals to you?
Oh, where do I begin? Everything was analog. Great design and quality materials were a priority in architecture, furniture, fashion and art. Everything looked perfect on the surface but below there were existential crises, racism, oppression, sexism. All the things that continue to be present today.
Why are Lipalux pieces so heavy?
For the most part, my pieces include an authentic appliance part (typically a TV face) that can sometimes weigh up to 25 pounds. To keep the structural integrity of the piece, it must be supported by a 1/2" sheet of MDO plywood. Often the frames, sometimes repurposed or made for specifically for the piece, are a heavier weight material to support the work.
What's the difference between photo transfer is decoupage?
The images (text and photographs) in my work are applied using a technique called photo transfer. Once I source the content for a piece I reverse the image (critical if there is text), apply a gel medium to the image and board and press down to smooth out the image making sure there's good adhesion while removing excess gel. Once it has dried, I wet and remove the paper backing to reveal the image. Decoupage uses cut out images, typicallly paper or fabric that are glued and often varnished. The photo transfer process leaves a more smooth surface on the board and allows for transparent layering, which is what gives my work so much depth, whereas decoupage is more opaque and leaves a more textured surface.
How long does it take to make a piece?
Research can take days or even weeks and involves collecting hundreds of images and articles that relate to the topic. I often get stuck here because the discovery process can be time consuming. Those assets are then cropped, fine-tuned, printed and organized into themes. From there I seek out a provocative featured image for the appliance and a spokesmodel to complete the look. Next is choosing the appliance that determines the scale of the work. A console TV needs much more space than a radio. After these assets are collected the physical work begins. Final steps are sizing and creating the resin-coated spokesmodels and MacGyvering the appliance to the board. On average, each piece takes 4-10 weeks from inception to completion.
Where do you get your spokesmodels?
While some images are sourced online, the majority of my spokesmodels are found paging through brittle vintage magazines from the 1940 - 1960s.