“Her sculptures capture just that instant when the dancers seem about to break free.” ~ American Art Collector Magazine
“My goal as an artist is to imbue the cold solidity of the bronze with life – to me movement captures this energy and is my inspiration.”
Jule Rotenberg is a versatile artist who sculpts figurative bronzes and paints encaustic canvases. (She also creates wearable art on scarves from her paintings.) For both art forms she creates with wax and fire and is inspired by movement. Her figurative bronzes utilize the human form to express motion, often mid-action and off-balance, or captured in a momentary stance. Her paintings are all about color. Both ride the divide between realism and abstractionism.
Jule is originally from Texas and received a BFA in fine arts from Southern Methodist University with an emphasis in dance. Education being important in her family, she balanced her academics with her focus on dance and graduated cum laude. She then obtained a paralegal certificate, and while starting her art career and continuing to dance, also followed the legal path her father, who was a law professor, had helped set for her.
She moved to Los Angeles and met her husband, who as an actor helped further her study of people and their emotional expressions and theatrics. She incorporates all of this in her work.
With her sculpture, Jule’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. She contradicts the apparent notion that a form made from bronze should be static. For Jule dance best conveys this and is her inspiration. 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.
Jule sculpted for many years, and then interested in expanding her artistic expression but still interested in working with wax, found encaustic painting. She began to study and experiment with the pigmented wax and the process of putting it on the canvas. This led her to developing her own technique. She saw her abstracted florals emerge as she “painted” with the torch, layering pigmented wax upon pigmented wax. This process allows Jule to create depth, to blend or define colors, and to “dance” with abstract realism.
“I don’t work directly from the model, but conceptualize the sculpture referring only to the model for answers to specific questions. I prefer this process which allows me to exaggerate, simplify or distort for effect. I paint in an even freer style. I never quite know where my torch will take me.” ~ Jule