Julia Fox, artist and head designer of Franziska Fox, recently released a graphic, autobiographical art book titled Heartburn/Nausea. The book acts as a character sketch, exposing flashes of intimate details that add up to mold a vision of a troubled girl. There is no hesitation between honesty and story telling, as this book is a collection of literal documents from the artist’s life. The book is extremely raw and almost devastatingly personal. She invites us into her own past, for just a moment, allowing us to truly have an experience through her memories.
RH: The book is autobiographical, extremely graphic and exposes probably the most intimate moments of your life. What made you want to share these moments?
JF: I believe that when you share something with someone it is no longer yours. I was tired of carrying it so I gave it away.
RH: Do you feel like the book falls under confession, warning, or exposé? Or perhaps, none of those. Maybe its something entirely different.
JF: I don’t know… It’s just a picture book of artifacts and stuff I have collected over the years. I’m not sure what the message behind it is. I guess since my life is so different now and I’m somewhat successful and happy, the message is that it’s ok to be fucked up. It’s ok to have a past.
And more importantly it’s ok to show your vulnerability and your weaknesses. And if you are fucked up and able to use it to your advantage, you are probably more interesting and insightful than most. So just like don’t be ashamed of yourself.
RH: Does the work aim to address mental illness at all?
JF: I think indirectly it does. I am bipolar. I think being untreated as an adolescent had a huge impact on my life. I’m very impulsive. I do what I want, when I want and when I want something, I want it now. I live in the moment and never take into consideration the consequences. I’m more or less still the same, the only difference is that the things I want have changed.
RH: It seems the book touches upon the borders between love, intimacy and obsession. Can you talk, just briefly, about these relationships at all. Do you believe healthy love, or love in of itself, exists?
JF: I do believe in healthy love. I just think it’s boring. To be completely honest, I have such a good time on my own that for me to want to be with someone else it better be one hell of a ride. I better feel everything and I better feel pain and in turn learn something new. Otherwise I’m ok being with just me. I’m a good time, in my opinion.