Woman Crush Wednesday: Julia Cybularz
Breaking the Girl
Writing and Photography by Julia Cybularz
Interview by Xinxin Zhang
“Hannah, of Breaking the Girl, is a teenage girl who has a severe curvature of her spine. She has been repeatedly, and painfully fitted with, and worn numerous braces since she was nine. Our gaze is directed at a young girl about to embark on the physical changes that coincide with puberty while facing the confines of a corseted brace worn twenty-three hours a day which restricts the natural urge of the body to expand. Hannah received an intensive surgery that fused her spine employing two steel rods.
Much of my work has revolved around themes that include the human body, identity, illness and vulnerability. By making work about specific individuals, I am inviting the viewer to make a personal connection through the subject’s collective experiences. Through their stories, I explore notions of fragility as well as the resilience.”
You can find out more about Julia’s works here.
Woman Crush Questionnaire:
1. What is your motivation to make your genre of photographic art?
I am driven by the challenge of creating work that is meaningful to me with the hope that these smaller individual narratives translate on a larger scale. My work consists mainly of portraits that are inspired by actual events. I like to build on what I see in my environment and incorporate elements of the fragility that we share as human beings.
2. How does your cultural background influence your art?
My father is first generation Polish. Much of his extended family lives in a small farming village. My mother is from a large Catholic family with a Midwest base. In a way, they are one form of the ‘dream’ people are searching for in this country. My fascination with family dynamics and how they manifest visually can be seen as a thread throughout my bodies of work.
3. What is the most difficult thing you have experienced making photos?
Much of the work that I make involves delicate situations. It can be a challenge to photograph sensitive topics while also maintaining a critical eye. Oftentimes, the strongest images appear when I myself feel exposed in some manner.
Artistic Lifestyle Questionnaire:
1. How would you describe your creative process in one word?
2. If you would teach one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
Vulnerability as it relates to the creation of art.
3. What was the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
I recently watched the film Roma and was quite taken by how quietly Cuarón translated monumental experiences.
4. What is the most played song in your iTunes Library?
When I Get My Hands On You by The New Basement Tapes
5. How do you take your coffee?