Junyi Liu #oilpainting #representationalrealism #figurativeart #contemporaryart


Junyi Liu is a New York City based visual artist. She was born and raised in China. Painting has been her passion since a young age. She came to the U.S. for art education first at University of Illinois at Springfield, and then received her BFA in painting at Maryland Institute College of Art. She also took classes at Art Students League of NY, and recently accepted by Florence Academy of Art US. She has been published by PoetsArtists and Scene & Heard Journal. Her works have been exhibited in Salmagundi Club,Dacia Gallery, Barrett Art Center, Viridian Artists, Las Laguna Art Gallery (CA), Arc Gallery & Studios (CA), Cartavetra Gallery (Italy), Palazzo dei Cartelloni Gallery (Italy), Old Courthouse Arts Center (IL), Peabody Institute (MD), Maryland Art Place (MD), etc. Junyi is a member of Salmagundi Club, Portrait Society of America, and Art Students League of NY.


What concept or narrative is behind your work? My artwork is a reflection and study of women, their vulnerability, and allure. Last year I did the “Meat Joy” series. I used raw meat as a metaphor for the female body. Women are consumed in the same way meat is bought from the market. People always prefer the merchandise fresh and desirable, while the ones that are not as pleasing will be cast aside. In my paintings I present raw meat with young, beautiful girls, creating bizarre and intriguing visual feelings. The large scale and bright colors allow the paintings to come forward to the viewers with an intention almost like magazine advertisements, but only ironically so.

Last year I moved to New York. I observed people’s way of living in the city. I have great sympathy for the insecurity of women, and people generally, nowadays. I have witnessed them seeking comforts from different sources, with the hope of achieving inner peace. However, they are still lonely. My new painting series “Lonely Together” is an attempt to reveal the moments where such women might be introspecting on these emotions. She sits in a warm café on a winter night, walking across the busy street or buried amongst her stuffed animals. It seems that she is very familiar with the environment, and yet she does not belong here. Somehow, she is at the center of the universe, but still invisible. By portraying scenes and activities that are so common in cities, I’d like to invite the viewers to relate the paintings with their personal experience, and bring themselves closer emotionally to a stranger like her.

I Will Learn To Breathe Underwater by Junyi Liu

What is your ultimate goal for your artwork? My art is a reflection of self-exploration. I want to be able to understand myself, which makes it a lot easier for me to understand human beings in general. When people can feel what others are feeling, there will be much less fear and confusion in the world.

Dress Me Up With Love by Junyi Liu

Do you ever venture out of your creative process to try out new things? Yes. I have done various performance art and installations. I really enjoy the freedom of the creating process and the conceptual depth these art forms can achieve.

What other artists have you shown with? Shana Levenson, Patricia Watwood, Ricky Mujica, David Kassan, Janet Cook, Michael Bergt, John Balsamo, Lucas Bononi, etc.

Explain your process. For the“Lonely Together” series, I painted real, young woman I’ve met in the city. They’ve shared with me their stories, and I tried to capture a moment that embodied the way they talk and behave. I took photo shoots with them, and did compositional sketches for the painting. After I came up with a satisfying image, I started to draw and paint on stretched linen.

A Present For You | Acrylic on canvas | 40x40 inches | 2018

Which was your breakthrough piece? Tell us more about it. My breakthrough piece is “A Present For You”. All the references I had were a picture of the nude and random photos of meat, fish, chicken and sausages that I found online. I wanted to achieve the illusion that the figure is lying on top of a huge pile of food, so I had to pay lots of attention to the perspective while designing how every piece of meat entangles in the painting, which trained my brain to think in 3D. This painting also contains a tremendous amount of detail. I made sure every inch of the meat has believable patterns and textures. Painting this piece took me a year, and it was a huge challenge for my patience, decision making ability, as well as painting techniques.

How do you price your work? I price my work based on its size, the cost of materials, how much time I put into it, cost of frame, and how well the imagery turned out.

Who is your art crush? Daniel Keys. He is a magician and brings everything alive.


International Biennial Portrait Competition 2019", Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Wausau, WI

Figuratively Speaking, Salmagundi Club, New York, NY | 30 Under 30, Viridian Artists, New York, NY | High Art, Low Art, and Everything in Between, Keep Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM | Women Artists Group Exhibition, Dacia Gallery, New York, NY | Saturated: An Eye For Color, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY | Place Setting, Polititis Art Coalition, Rochester, NY | Woman Celebrating Creativity, National Association of Women Artists, New York | Adorn Me, PoetsArtists, curated by Carol Hodes | Nude Nite, Tampa, FL | Local Views 2019 Gallery 25N, Peekskill, NY


Junyi Liu next to her painting in the IBPC 2019



This interview was brought to you by Hashtag Art Magazine.


Paintings and Interview with Junyi Liu, New York.

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