Jean Jullien has been able to balance two aesthetics in his work for years. There are the observational, humorous and cartoon-like works that made him famous, and the new paintings of the past few years that combine seaside and countryside scenes with his family and friends. Over the course of a few exhibitions now, he has begun to blur the lines, with his sculptures taking the role of his illustration style juxtaposed with his calm paintings. The results continue to create one of the great journeys in art over the past 10 years, watching Jullien rewrite the rule books of how a career can be seemingly in any genre he wants.
And now, Jullien’s unique style is taking over Tokyo. In collaboration with NANZUKA, the gallery has curated three exhibitions and a project with the French artist. In addition to an exhibition of latest works Paper People at Parco Museum Tokyo (seen in the gallery above), the special pop-up exhibition Pocket Parents at NANZUKA 2G (Shibuya Parco 2F), and Petite Pêche at 3110NZ, a solo showcasing of Jullien’s work will also be presented concurrently at GALLERY TARGET.
The works in Paper People see Jullien have his “thin paper figures” engaging in various creative activities, almost bringing the works off the ground and onto the walls. With the backing of his seaside works, it demonstrates that rare trait that Jullien has; to bring a calming influence on behalf of his comic fun. Both are inherently Jullien, but it’s rare that we recognize an artist for both skills. There’s air hear, room to breathe and a feeling that in a world of overwhelming change, there is peace that is possible. It’s a breath of fresh air for these all-consuming times. —Evan Pricco