Artist Statement and Bio
Julian draws inspiration from vintage subject matter, especially early 20th century French fashion, an aesthetic component that crosses over into his real life as well. He says, “I love fashion in general and buy a lot of clothes cut by certain designers. I was inspired by the many 20th Century fashion books I had, finding myself attracted to the curved and sharp lines in the dress. Once I gain a sense of the picture’s composition, I can then duplicate the images using different sized canvases, colors and line patterns. My goal is to combine the vintage style of fashion with contemporary Expressionism.”
Becoming a painter was as much a matter of choice for Julian as it was part of his family’s DNA. The son of renowned Cape Cod landscape painter and gallery owner Robert Cardinal, he grew up watching his dad work in his studio, spent time at art museums, and hung around the galleries in the historic artist colony of Provincetown. At the age of 19, while enrolled as an English major with an Art minor at the University of Vermont, Cardinal began following in his father’s footsteps and created his first series of paintings that included seascapes and the figure of a fiddle player. Once his initial paintings were displayed and quickly sold at Kiley Court Gallery, Cardinal was commissioned to paint more and began receiving local and regional buzz around Provincetown. When Cardinal was in his early 20s, he joined forces with his father and business partner to open up a gallery in Burlington that showcased his and his dad’s work as well as local artists. Another noteworthy member of Cardinal’s family is his maternal great-grandfather, Benjamin Sonnenberg, who was a pioneering public relations mogul and prominent art collector in New York City during the 20th Century. The creative pursuits from both sides of Cardinal’s family has motivated and inspired him to pursue an artistic path.