Julia Csekö was born in Colorado, raised in Rio de Janeiro, and is now an art educator and practicing local Boston-based artist. Csekö’s resume boasts an impressively extensive background and highlights that, “her work gravitates around conversations and experiments grounded on a paradigm shift from competitive to collaborative mindset in social actions and interactions,”. One can find a public mural created by Csekö on view at Winter Place in downtown Boston, commissioned by the Downtown Boston BID (Business Improvement District). This is also the artist behind the piece “Anomia – Black Stripes” which currently hangs in Beacon Gallery’s current exhibit, Coded. The piece, an inter-stitched flag composed of both the United States and Brazilian flags along with interchanging and central, black separating stripes, is affixed to the ceiling at one end and an opposite wall at the other. As visitors of the gallery stop and take a moment to ponder the large, eye-catching draped fabric, they take notice to the hanging threads that dangle loosely from the roughly-cut sides of each flag. A viewer questions their companion, “what is the artist saying?“.
Coded is Beacon Gallery’s current exhibition curated by Aja Johnson, which features a diverse group of thirteen artists – one of whom is Julia Csekö. Her work is deeply inspired by her upbringing in Brazil, which may have something to say in answer to viewers’ speculations as they view her piece in the gallery. Csekö notes of this, “the colorful Brazilian culture and landscapes exist in the same measure that it is marked by the country’s violent and convoluted history.”
As an immigrant and dual citizen, Csekö carries a uniquely burdening perspective which allows her to see the ways in which Brazil, in all its facets, faces detriment and turmoil. She is therefore extremely passionate about telling migrant stories through her works – “…not only of the hardships experienced by migrants, but, also, the narratives of friendship, resilience, resistance, and love that we experience”.
Striving to appeal to a wide range of viewers, and inspired by Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, she thinks of her work as a dialogue. More specifically, dialogues such as those concerning social interactions or paradigm shifts from competitive to collaborative mindsets. In addition to her goal of creating works that spark conversation, she also aims to offer a response to the world around her – “to historical moments, the deeds and words of people who have continuously fought for justice and human rights...”.
The artist is currently a Somerville Arts Council Fellow and, in collaboration with the Somerville Arts Council, now working on a large-scale word-based wheat pasting public piece to be installed in Somerville. She mentions that she has also been reading “An Indigenous People’s History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar- Ortiz, as well as “The Open Veins of Latin America” by Eduardo Galeano, which she insists is a must-read for all of her art-viewers and human-beings, alike. She recommends Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, as well and shares that she always finds herself returning to Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poetry, particularly “A Coney Island for the Mind” and “Time of Useful Consciousness”.
In our Coded exhibition, you can find her latest flag meditation on view until the show’s closing on September 26th. Full of rich color and sociopolitical overtones, her piece is sure to bolster timely, meaningful thought and conversation. We are so thankful to have the opportunity to feature this impressive, lyrical and talented artist in our Coded show this fall – special thanks to Julia for her time and recommendations!
You can find Csekö on Instagram at @csekojulia and make sure to check out her website, https://www.juliacseko.com to see more of her vibrant, powerful artwork.
For all other inquiries or to reach the gallery directly, please message firstname.lastname@example.org