Cheryl Juracich (b. 1986) is an American painter who began her studies in art as a child with a natural inclination towards the study of people. Her work explores themes of time, generational theory, human nature, sexuality, and spirituality. She gave birth to a son early in life at the age of 16. As she developed into an adult and into a mother, she found painting as a means to develop a dialog of self reflection and meditation on others around her. This ultimately prompted deep self examination and led her to look to her ancestry and their stories of resilience and adaptation during the last century. She received a BFA in Painting from Arizona State University in 2014. Thereafter, she worked as an illustrator in the EdTech industry developing curriculum for K-12 online classes. In 2021, she left her job to pursue painting full time. Presently, she lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her 19 year old son and is working in her studio in Downtown, Phoenix.
For the last several years, evident history has been a point of focus in my work. I have painted subjects that are storied by time and their journey up until that moment. Wondering about the process that brought a canyon to form or the time and events it took for a car to become a dilapidated ruin motivated my study.
In early 2022, outside of the studio, I began to dig into my interest in photographic vernacular of the past. I was pulled by the feeling of peering into a moment in time that was unselfconsciously and unwittingly part of a history that is known to future generations. The intimacy in some of these everyday pictorial moments connects me to the sense that my human experience has been shared by countless others across time. Not just this.. but that our very thoughts and actions will reach beyond our lifetime as part of a natural process.
Allowing this intrigue to bleed into my work, I began to search within my own past, before my birth, for moments of pivotal importance. A motorcycle club for couples in Orange County, CA that my grandparents belonged to. The infatuation that drew them together. The hospital stay after the birth of my mother. The beach near their family home. I wanted to stand with them in those moments. I felt it was important to depict these imaginings at life size and in a visual style that related to the time in which they happened. For this, I employed influences from the illustration of the early to mid 20th century, rhythms and shapes that describe forms with efficiency, and a limited palette with less modern pigments.
This focus on personal history has opened the door for me to explore narrative within my paintings. Since those first few large scale paintings, I am moving away from subjective personal imagery and into more broad psychological, social, and ethereal concepts by combining scenes from the crystallized past. I've found particular intrigue in overlaying figures and spaces with "rules' I create loosely from my knowledge of light and color theory. I actively challenge the temptation to over-annunciate and lean into simpler treatments of form at times as a way of reminding myself that arrested perfection does not exist and all things continually take on new and abstracted forms if they are truly *alive*. This lack of temporal and spacial specificity, along with simultaneous representation of happenings allows me to converse freely with projections of thought and hopefully will connect viewers to their own relationship to transcendence.