Julien Rey says it himself: he trained “self-taught, integrating and taking inspiration from various cultures, through [his] discoveries”. A great traveler, the French artist developed work that was heavily influenced by Asian culture. Marked by the Zen philosophy and with a desire for refinement and simplicity, he produces minimal compositions that appear like suspended moments, poetic breaks in the middle of the surrounding disorder.
His unique and individual technique of working varnish worked with a knife and gold leaf inlays puts light at the heart of his works, as it plays with areas of shadow and brightness, creating slivers of black and gold. His representations of urban landscapes thus confront obscurity and light in contrasted compositions with impressionistic atmospheres. Julien Rey describes his works as “fugitive rays” or “twilight flashes”, as he attempts to capture the changing moments between day and night where light becomes divine and emotions become intense.
Trying to inspire, feel and self-reflect, the artist is not looking for a true duplication of what he sees, but instead wishes to capture and materialize the “aesthetic link between finesse and rigor, movement and perspective, emptiness and fullness”. In the end, his works capture the true heart of reality but remain distanced from that reality.