Julia Peirone

Written by Art & Culture

Julia Peirone is a photographer who is famous for her pictures of teenage girls. The way she captures them is by having them pose with their eyes half-closed and mouths slightly open while in motion. This creates images that seem to reveal the inner feelings of the young women she portrays. A journalist named Joanna Persman once described these poses as not being particularly flattering, but rather authentic depictions of the confusion that often characterizes teenage life. According to Persman, young people are a mystery not only to adults, but also to themselves.

What are you working on right now? /Tell us about your exhibition during Stockholm Art Week?
I have some ideas for new works but too early to say anything. I used to have a little bank of ideas and when the time is right I pick one to go on with.
Right now there is one or two I am thinking of.I recently finished Squeaky Stardust that I will show at Stockholm Art Week.

The installation ‘Squeaky Stardust’ (2023) features both a video work as well as a series of polaroid-like images.
A heavily made-up model can be seen slowly turning around with music playing in the background.
Reminiscent of a ballerina in a music box, she circles around and around. A female voice can be heard saying ‘smile’
and the girl complies over and over again. The camera flashes capturing her grimacing, and her makeup smears when
she tears up. The attention from the unseen photographer becomes distressing while a toy squeaks covering any vocal expression from the protagonist.

What inspired you to become an artist, and how has your artistic journey evolved over time?
The idea of having a fun life and being free.
It has been an interesting and fun artistic journey (I have been lucky) but I have also worked hard.
I am very grateful for the possibilities I had to show my work and all the attention I got. I know how hard it is. There is a lot of good artists/art outhere that should be shown more.

What is your creative process like, and how do you approach developing new ideas and concepts for your work?
I see, I think (not too much), I do and then I think more.
Most of all I try to have fun while I am doing my work. I often start with a rather banal idea that makes me laugh or wonder about something.
I trust my intuition that it will come out deeper things from those ideas. I like to see how the process leads me through the right way.
I try to be sensitive to what happens under the process. If there are mistakes, I see them as possibilities instead of failures. I often get surprised.

Can you tell me about a specific artwork or series of works that are particularly meaningful to you and why?
The series More than Violet (the portraits of girls when their poses are out of control) these pictures where important both in my work (pointed out a more concentrated direction) and in my career. The pictures also embrace a lot of things that represent who I am as an artist.

What do you think of Stockholm as an art city?
It's good, of course as an artist I would like it to be more experimental. Unfortunately the market is deciding too much what is shown in galleries for example. Stockholm is a good art city concerning that is not the biggest city in the world. But I would like to be more surprised and and see more strange and `impossible` art.

Do you have a favorite Swedish Artist?
Yes, Barbro Ötshlin.

Do you have a favorite bar or restaurant in Stockholm?
Yes, Cafe on hornsgatan/mariatorget.
The best coffee in town and nicest people working there. Also a very nice bar.