The oversized portraits and still-life paintings of Yuliya Fogra are masterful representations of light and color, awash in detail. Fascinated by large-format images, Yuliya prefers working with giant canvases because it makes her feel like a five-year-old again, full of wonder, sitting in an echoing blotchy studio in a small Eastern European suburban movie theater and watching for hours how posters for films are being painted by hand triple her size. To achieve precision and accuracy in her paintings, Yuliya works from a photograph, breaking images into tiny squares and then blowing them up following a grid pattern. “It's a building blocks game for a 40-year-old,” she says. Although Yuliya’s work is hyper-realistic and based on photos, she doesn’t consider her paintings photorealistic. Rather, instead of trying to capture how people appear, or their personality, she wants to portray their souls. Because her subjects faces are so large, they demand a psychological exchange between themselves and the viewer, transforming what is not so obvious into something conspicuously beautiful.
Born in Latvia, Yuliya graduated from the Avni Institute of Art And Design in Israel, and worked as a graphic artist and art director for 13 years. She currently lives in Brooklyn.