Julia Theek was born in Potsdam and trained in classical art techniques at an early age by her grandfather Paul August. She has been exhibiting since 1988, initially computer graphics and assemblages, and in 1992 a multimedia installation in the famous “37 Rooms” exhibition in Berlin’s Auguststraße. From 1988 to 1995 she studied aesthetics, art and media studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin, her master’s thesis was on semiotic interpretation procedures. In 1993 she completed a film production seminar at the University of Southern California. In addition to her studies, she worked for various cultural editors, among other things, and therefore refrained from having her own exhibitions. She also produced her own music videos and art documentaries, which resulted in the picture cycle with palaces and ruins for a New York club from 1997 – 2002. In the process, she developed her own airbrush technique, which combined the craftsmanship of a Berlin motorbike workshop with Mauer – street art. Further developing the short-lived urban interventions on steel, wood or canvas led back to exhibitions. From 1999 to 2009, she directed the Potsdam Palace Night for the “Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten” (Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation), her paintings gaining cultural-historical context. In 2008, the then Minister of Culture Johanna Wanka described her as “intellectually challenging and touchingly beautiful at the same time”.
An important part of her work was the series “gated communities”, the main works of which were only exhibited together in a non-commercial gallery in 2017. Who excludes or includes whom with which signs has occupied the artist for a long time. Wolfram Weimer wrote about her in The European: “a representative of the generation of the fall of the Berlin Wall, who combines ideas and forms in such a wonderfully free way, as is only dared by people who know unfreedom. Her work, which is influenced by street art, includes not only painting but also sculpture, photography, film and multimedia. The peculiarity of the works is the interpretation of traditional motifs with aesthetic experiences of the Apple generation.”
For Julia Theek’s transformations of already used material in the street art and spatial installations of the 90s, a term is found that also takes up the ecological necessity – upcycling. This led to lectures and texts, which she summarised in her book “Der Anspruch der Dinge – Upcycling als Kunst” in 2021.
The artist is more interested in working in ever new places in other collaborations than in the market. Even in GDR times, she enjoyed organising art events as much as participating in others. In 2008 she organised an art auction for the restoration of the Minerva from the theatre wing of the Potsdam City Palace, 2012 – 2019 the summer academy “Lübzer Kunstspeicher”, 2014 a German – Italian street art event, founded the “Circular Art Society e.V.” in 2021 and initiated the Upcycling Art Prize. She has exhibited in Italy, Spain, Poland and France and is represented in renowned public and private collections.