Julia San Román / GLIMMER


February 21, 2021

On View Through:

April 25, 2021

Browse Show Catalog
Julia San Roman - Borealis
Julia San Roman - Pentimento
Julia San Roman - Voz Alta
Julia San Roman - Glimmer. Suspiro.
Julia San Roman - Horizon II
Julia San Roman - Glimmer. Flouds.
Julia San Roman - Guaguancó

GLIMMER, a word defined as a faint or wavering light, conjures up feelings of fascination and optimism. As humans, we are hardwired to gravitate toward things that glisten and gleam – a deeply rooted evolutionary survival mechanism. Our affinity toward sparkling light originates from our prehistoric ancestors’ need to seek out fresh water. As these early humans would draw nearer to the source of light, the glimmer would grow brighter and brighter, and they would eventually find themselves face to face with their means of salvation. 

Julia San Román was born in Madrid, Spain, where the sun is abundant and the quality of light shapes the everyday landscape. As a child she was fascinated with art; however, she concentrated her formal education on science, choosing to move to the United States to further her career, ultimately earning a PhD in Biology. She found herself transplanted in San Diego, CA, a place where the atmospheric landscape mimics that of her home country. The influence of her childhood exposure to art remained an integral part of her passion for life, and after receiving training in Studio Arts and Art History at the collegiate level, she committed her life to painting, chasing that nostalgic light with her paints. 

Julia San Román, “Glimmer, Lichens and Flouds,” Oil on Canvas

A battle of forces takes center stage in San Román’s latest solo show GLIMMER, with light assuming the role of protagonist, while the role of antagonist is cast as the large, foreboding nimbus clouds. In these celestial scenes, light is in constant struggle with the clouds for room in the sky. The red and yellow light beams explode through the grey amorphous masses, leaving a full spectrum of color in their wake. As the light vanquishes the dark, a feeling of optimism swells inside each of San Román’s paintings. 

San Román’s solo show also borrows work from her series FULL CIRCLE, which depicts dancers from the Latino community in order to pay homage to the rich culture that shapes what she refers to as, “the silent base of the American economy.” With their arms outstretched towards the heavens, these dancers transcend beyond gravity’s earthly hold, and dissolve into the colorful ether beyond the clouds. These paintings are a direct result of her time spent within the Latino community; and by combining both series GLIMMER and FULL CIRCLE into a singular solo show, San Román brings a heavenly weight to the vibrant dances that frame a culture. 

Julia San Román’s solo show, GLIMMER, taps into our innate fascination with light and serves as a beacon of optimism, during a time when people are looking for a silver lining. 

Julia San Roman next to her work | Image courtesy of the artist

Julia San Román has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Oceanside Museum of Art; W.D. Cannon public gallery in Carlsbad, CA; the San Diego International Airport; Stephen Clayton Gallery, Coronado, Oceanside, CA; L-Street Fine Art, San Diego, CA; Salazar Contemporary Art Exhibits, La Jolla, CA. Group exhibitions include Cheryl Hazan Gallery, New York, NY; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA; Latino Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Dawson Cole Fine Art, Laguna Beach, CA; Lew Allen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM; Madison Gallery, La Jolla, CA; Laura Rather Fine Art, Houston TX; MaryAnn Doran Gallery, Tulsa, OK, Graphite Galleries, New Orleans, LA; Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, La Jolla, CA.


In this video we walk you through the full exhibition and explain more about Julia San Román’s history, the primary themes in her paintings, and why we chose to feature her as our first solo artist of the year.

In the Press

In ‘Glimmer’ series, artist Julia San Roman finds the light

In ‘Glimmer’ series, artist Julia San Roman finds the light

San Diego Union Tribune

March 2021

"San Diego-based painter channels hope and catharsis in her ‘Glimmer’ series, currently at Sparks Gallery"

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Julia San Román feature in Modern Luxury San Diego Magazine

Julia San Román feature in Modern Luxury San Diego Magazine

Modern Luxury San Diego

February 2021

"California artist Julia San Román will showcase her vibrant contemporary works in a solo exhibition at Sparks Gallery in downtown San Diego.

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