Julie Peppito

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Artist’s Statement

In “Nature, Fashion & War,” I have created large-scale charcoals and tapestries that draw connections between the human desire to want more of everything versus the destructive impact our consumerism has on the environment and the survival of our species. The colorful, multi-layered, fashion-inspired tapestries in “Nature, Fashion & War” contain objects that were on their way to becoming trash. At one time these items were desirable status symbols or served a functional purpose. By smashing, wrapping, and sewing old shoes, clothes, toys, jewelry, cans, and other debris into pliable surfaces, then combining them with carefully painted and drawn images of politicians, nature, people, and monsters, I create topographical narratives that comment on the systems destroying life on earth.

These works are my answer to author Naomi Klein’s assertion that “No Is Not Enough.” This exhibition speaks to the catastrophic effects unregulated industries are having on us, the role human nature plays in that, our coping mechanisms, and strategies towards a healthy inhabitable world. My titles often reference books and articles from notable journalists like Naomi Klein, Jane Mayer, Sharon Lerner, Brene Brown and Arundati Roy. Since the recent re-invention of “fake news,” I have set out to create mammoth illustrations interspersed with giant word balloons inspired by these authors’ well-researched works. These works are intended to illuminate the intricate web of violence, greed, love and beauty that comprise human nature, in order to help tip the future towards our positive instincts and away from those hurling us towards extinction.

Julie Peppito was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, then moved to New York City, where she received her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1992. She received her MFA from Alfred University in 2004, and has shown extensively for the past 25 years. She has received several grants including a New York Foundation of The Arts (NYFA) Fellowship in 2001. She has also created art for several New York playgrounds. In April of 2018 she presented her seventh solo exhibition titled “Nature, Fashion & War” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has become increasingly involved in creating agitprop for marches and is now focusing on elections. Most recently she has co-curated an exhibit called “In Her Hands” with Orly Cogan (Robert Mann Gallery, New York City, June 14 – August 17, 2018). “In Her Hands” consists of portraits of progressive women candidates running in the 2018 elections, handmade by 15 women artists from across the country. To see more of Julie’s work, visit juliepeppito.com

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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom, winner of the 2017 Washington Prize, Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, New American Writing, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.