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She Comes in Colors: An Interview with Juliana Horner

Juliana Horner is an artist, illustrator, make-up artist, and fashion designer from Nashville, TN, currently based in New York City, NY.

After graduating from Pratt University, she developed her own online gallery and store that showcase vivid and imaginative illustrations. She features artwork, where make-up is used as paint to create surreal eye portraits, and women in dream-like, contemplative states or narratives.

Below is an interview conducted with Juliana Horner on her use of vintage material culture, gender, performance, and other visual inspirations.

It’s evident that you’re inspired by vintage clothes and furniture, can you elaborate on this? Specifically, how do certain eras influence you? And why?

I'm very interested in vintage ideas of the future (i.e. mid-1960s). Looking back on the what was considered forward-thinking at the time is very calming to me. I am always thinking of the future, and it causes a lot of anxiety, so it's sort of a beautiful and nostalgic brain trick for me. I also think of youth revolution when I think of the 1960s, and something about that wave really resonates with me for our current cultural climate. Things run in waves. We're just doing it differently now.

Your work features women in action - they are inviting, confessional, and voyeuristic in a sense. What is the relationship between your art and expressions of gender?

My expression of my gender is quite simple: I am woman. When I look in the mirror I see myself. I see myself thinking, figuring out, wishing, wanting, going, coming. All the women I draw I feel connected to in the sense that I made them so I am them. I've felt all of the emotions I've ever drawn.

In your eye portraits, you exhibit make-up artistry skills, but often they also come across as painting techniques. It seems like both of which stand for the same thing; make-up is painting, painting is make-up. How did you arrive at these portraits and why do you display the eye?

I feel that in this day and age, fine art and photography and CAD are melting into a hybrid form of self-expression within social media. I have always loved to draw and create art that is not myself, but humans are very responsive to images of humans, and what better way to connect than eye contact? Why not put the art there? We crave it. We're all going to have enormous eyes by the time this millennium is over.

To learn more about Juliana Horner and to view her art, please visit her website:

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