Rifle through French artist Julie Sarloutte’s art supplies and you might find not tubes of oil paint, but dozens of thread bundles. At first glance, her works appear to be paint on canvas, the unmistakable palette knife angling and impasto streaks making up portraits and muted scenes of political violence. But looking closer, you might see the pop of thread coming through, as all pieces are meticulously hand-embroidered by Sarloutte, who also dabbles in mosaic and yes, paint.
From Sherlock Holmes to her own self-portrait, Sarloutte, a graduate of National School of Fine Arts in Paris, tackles the classic style of portraiture, but it’s her other works — frozen images of aggression and violence captured with thread — that catch our eye. She takes scenes covered in the media — war, gun violence, natural disasters — and transposes them onto soft fabrics, illuminating a marked contrast between the medium and the subject.