Artist Statement

I have already created the sculpture in my mind. I know the lines, the form, the flow of energy. I confront a cold block of wax and with ancient tools and torch, I impose my will upon it to create something new, something more beautiful. I sculpt with fire!

 

My interest has always been to capture the essence of my subject and allow the viewer to find a spiritual and emotional connection with it.  I utilize the human form to express motion, often mid-action and off-balance, or captured in a momentary stance.  I mean to contradict the apparent notion that a form made from bronze should be static.  For me, dance best conveys this and is my inspiration.  Since the beginning, this intention has translated into less detail and an avoidance of illustrative exactness.  It allows for revealing traces of the modeling process and the natural textures of the materials.  It encourages freedom to exaggerate anatomy and stretch apparent reality.  I am always drawn to the beauty and power of the human form and willing to move beyond its limitations to express the spirit within.

 

I don’t work directly from the model, but conceptualize the piece referring only to the model for answers to specific questions.  I prefer this process that allows me to exaggerate, simplify or distort for effect.

 

Sculpture should be a tactile experience.  I want the movement of the piece to compel the viewer to reach for it.

 

Biography

My goal as an artist is to imbue the cold solidity of the bronze with life — to me dance captures this life energy and is my inspiration.

 

The work of bronze figurative sculptor, Jule Rotenberg, captures the very essence of her own adventures as a dancer and performer.   She derives inspiration for her dynamic, abstracted and representational pieces from her study of dance, and invites the viewer to share her love of “life theater, “ as she calls it.  Her travels to Europe exposed her to the masters and inspired new perspectives, heightened awareness, and a fierce passion to create her bold visions forged in fire and bronze.  

 

Growing up in the urban metropolis of Houston, Texas, Rotenberg was surrounded by the arts.  She and her siblings were enthused by her mother’s artistic influence. “When I was young,” Rotenberg remembers, “I spent a lot of time trying to do the things my mother and older siblings did, which included a lot of drawing.”  Education was very important in her family and her parents were actively supportive of Rotenberg’s interest in art.

 

“My first ‘piece’ was a line drawing I did in elementary school of abstracted nudes like a study for a fresco.”  Rotenberg laughs, “To my delight, it met with great praise and not a trip to the principal’s office.” Throughout her school years, Rotenberg created many pencil portraits of family, friends and acquaintances; her paintings won several local art contests and her dedication to a life of art was decided. Her next artistic endeavor, however, led her away from the fine arts. She began performing in a school dance troupe of 100 girls. “We traveled and performed nationally and internationally at the International Tulip Festival in Holland, and at one prestigious venue we performed under the direction of famed choreographer June Taylor.”  Dance became her passion. That decision would influence her life in dramatic and unforeseen ways.  

 

Subsequently, Rotenberg won a dance scholarship to Southern Methodist University. It was there that she became exposed to concert and modern dance choreographers likes Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, and had the singular opportunity to study with the Martha Graham dancers and meet the iconic choreographer in person. The grace and power exuded by these dancers and the poetic symbolism embodied in their teaching has stayed with Rotenberg throughout her career and she continues to draw inspiration from it. Unfortunately, a congenital defect at her fifth lumbar was discovered around this time, which inflicted crippling pain. Stubbornly refusing this limitation, she continued to study and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. She then moved to New York City to pursue a professional dance career. Within six months however, she realized that she was not able to endure the long hours of dance training demanded of a professional dancer. At this pivotal juncture, she reclaimed her original focus - fine art. An intense study of drawing and sculpting ensued revealing a surprising correlation between dance and her new passion. She was able to employ the knowledge and skill she had learned while studying dance - anatomy, balance, positive and negative space, movement and emotion - to her sculpting. She found a new love in the clay and an ability to translate her kinetic sense and knowledge of anatomy into a solid form, thus capturing the “human dance.” 

 

She continued her studies in her new home in Southern California, where she met and married her husband, Jack Armstrong, an actor and voice-over artist. Rotenberg began to exhibit her bronze sculptures and produce her own art shows in and around Los Angeles as well as curate shows for CITY gallery, which she did for several years. In 2009 she exhibited at the Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Comtemporanea in Florence, Italy and visited Michelangelo’s “David,” where she stood in awe and found true inspiration, as she had on a previous tour of the Rodin museum in Paris. “I appreciate living in Los Angeles because of the availability of great art, “ states Rotenberg. “I’m able to visit local museums and galleries to find other sculpture masters like Degas, Henry Moore, Robert Graham and Richard McDonald, who continue to provide inspiration!” Rotenberg’s sculptures have been featured in American Art Collector magazine and The Houston Post featured her work and interview in their series about religion and art. And then her son was born. “Caring for an infant shifted my focus. Being naturally goal-oriented, I remember thinking if I could just keep him alive for the next six months until our trip to see family, I will have achieved a major goal!  I found new inspiration, not only in sharing my love of art with my son but also in encouraging his own artistic expression. I cherish seeing art through his eyes.“ As Pablo Picasso said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” He also said “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

 

With her sculpture,  Rotenberg’s interest has always been to capture the essence of her subject and as a principal goal, allow the viewer to find a spiritual and emotional connection with it.  Her figurative bronzes utilize the human form, often captured mid-action and off-balance, in a momentary stance. Her pieces contradict the apparent notion that a form made from bronze should be static and without emotion.  Since the beginning, this intention has translated into less detail and an avoidance of illustrative exactness. It allowed for revealing traces of the modeling process and the natural textures of the materials. It encouraged freedom to exaggerate anatomy and stretch apparent reality.  She is always drawn to the beauty and power of the human form and willing to move beyond its limitations to express the spirit within. 

 

ENCAUSTIC PAINTING

 

Ever expanding her artistic expression and reveling in the use of color and a process more immediate than sculpting, Rotenberg discovered encaustic painting, a technique, which like sculpture, uses both fire and wax.  Again, an intense study and experimentation ensued with pigmented wax and various processes of application. Rotenberg developed her own technique, which in and of itself, embraces movement, and saw her abstracted florals emerge as she “painted” with the torch, layering pigmented wax upon pigmented wax.  This process allows Rotenberg to create depth, to blend and define colors, and as with her sculptures, to “dance” with abstract realism.

 

“Her encaustic paintings are dreamy and vividly otherworldly.”    ~Keli Daniels

 

Rotenberg’s sculptures and paintings can be found in private collections from London, England to Osaka, Japan.  She has sold her work through galleries and private exhibits. She is a member of the International Sculpture Center and Artists for Human Rights.  

 

When not in her studio, she can be found exploring the great outdoors and observing the ever-changing scene in Southern California and beyond.  Her quest to illuminate “The Human Dance” continues.

 

Resume

EDUCATION

Jule Rotenberg’s education includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University.  Further education includes self-directed, independent study at Eastfield College and The Brentwood Art Center.

 

STYLE

Rotenberg works primarily in wax - sculpting and painting with fire, creating abstract realism.

 

EXHIBITIONS 

Thousand Oaks Art Fair (Thousand Oaks, CA)

Beverly Hills Art Affair in the Gardens (Beverly Hills, CA)

Fire and Light, Sandstone Gallery (Laguna Beach, CA)

Siren, Spring Art Collective (Los Angeles, CA)

Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Comtemporanea Di Firenze (Florence, Italy)

Iron & Ink, James Gary Gallery, Bergamot Station (Santa Monica, CA)

Group Show, Bonner David Galleries (Scottsdale, AZ)

Artists for Human Rights group show, Johnson Art Collection (West Hollywood, CA)

Artists for Human Rights groups show, Westwood Gallery (SoHo, New York City)

Light, Rhythm & Being, Johnson Art Collection (West Hollywood, CA)

Exhibit to Enlighten, Epilepsy Foundation (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Heck Final, City Gallery (Los Angeles, CA)

Shadow & Form, City Gallery (Los Angeles, CA)

 

CORPORATE AND PRIVATE COLLECTORS INCLUDE:

Ms. Maaike de Bie (General Counsel, easyJet)

Mr. Milton Katselas (Founder, The Beverly Hills Playhouse)

Dr. Thomas Skrenes (San Diego, CA)

Ms. Marion Stiles (Houston, Texas)

Mr. and Mrs. Eisenmann (Clearwater, FL)

Mr. and Mrs. Acunto (Beverly Hills, CA)

Ms. Olga Krag (Los Angeles, CA)

Mr. and Mrs. Futernick (Los Angeles, CA)

Mr. Thai Ha (Newport Beach, CA)

Mr. Joel Fried (Los Angeles, CA)

Ms. Gina Post (Los Angeles, CA)

 

 

 

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