Nobody is a prophet in their own land
Sculptor Julia Cake currently lives and works in England. She was born in Monaco in 1973 as Julia Levy-Laik, and lived with her grand parents, while her mother worked hard to open a family medical practice in Cannes. Later on, the young Julia moved back with her parents, and started sculpting at 16 years old while recovering from a skiing accident that interrupted her vacations. Her fervor for that sport was transformed into a passion for sculpting. It was carving images from different materials that Julia found her emancipation thus allowing her artistic talent to manifest itself. Her creative ideas having been suppressed in earlier years provoked a kind of introspective behaviour in Julia, that made people close to her believe she required a different remedial treatment.
A Beaux Arts Academy student
She enrolled in the Beaux Arts Academy in France, delving totally into the three-dimensional world of sculpting and finding a way to channel her creativity. Julia confesses that she was upset when her art instructor seemed to always leave her alone without any real help of guidance. Then she added: “I found out she did not want to influence the way I modeled the pieces.” Within a few months she was qualified to enter the Festival Palace of Cannes art contest for international artists. Her first ever piece “Three Elephants” was awarded 2nd place among experienced sculptors, when she was only 17 years old.
Julia started to work with clay but she soon moved into marble that became her stone of choice and help unleash her true artistic expression. Growing up in the French Riviera, it was easy for Julia to drive into Italy and pick and choose the most appealing pieces of naturally formed marble with her hands transforming the cold stone into magnificent objects of art that encompasses both abstract and figurative along the lines of Botero.
During the next four years she sold each of her original Italian marble sculptures in art fairs, such as “The three days of Mougins” symposium in Eze, Toulon, Saint Tropez and Cannes. Her artwork “The road towards Peace” measuring 7 feet tall can be found in the city gardens of Cannes and another one on La Croisette Boulevard.
Love showed her the way back to sculpting
Julia was doing well but everything came to an abrupt stop when her father wanted her to return to her studies. Even when disagreeing she finally embarked on a 4-year degree in Florida, USA. She was away from sculpting for another six years until he met and fell in love with her husband to be, who helped her return to her true passion.
Julia recounts: “Within weeks of our being together he took me to a sculpture supply shop in Florida and bought marble stones, sculpting tools and found me a studio where I sculpted my first marble piece in ten years, entitled “Complex I”. This piece was acquired by American businessman William Koch to join his art collection of artworks from Rodin, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Remington, Matisse, Picasso, Dali, Modigliani and Botero. He later acquired a few more of her pieces. At that time Donald Trump contacted Julia to exhibit her “Complex II” at the art gallery of his hotel Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach in 2006.
Both Complex 1 and complex 2 depict a beautiful lady with her back turned to her audience. She has great beauty and talent but perceives only ugliness and failure.
It was in 2006 that Julia moved to England where she resides at present. She exhibits at the prestigious London retreat seaside town of Southwold and sells her work at athe nearby Buckingham Gallery. Other works had been bought by local businesses and Theaters in the South-East region of the UK where she lives.
Longing to be a Mother and returning back home
Her earlier works were inspired by nature but always turned into an abstract representation. Julia often had said: “My children are my sculptures”, never believing she would marry as she found it difficult to meet somebody who would understand her way of life. But something did change when she finally met that special person and married and with that the real possibility of becoming a mother.
This started to show in her sculptures. In Julia’s own words: “I began seeing mothers and their children in almost every stone in my studio. They seemed to manifest themselves as pregnant women, or with exposed breasts awaiting to feed their child, or simply holding their newborn child as their guardian. “ And she added: “Breasts have never manifested from the stone as an erotic symbol, but one of life into the next generation, or an extension of pure love for the child. For ten years I have felt my own children forming with each piece I have finished.” Julia confessed to me that if she were lucky enough to have her own children, it would be too late for her grandparents Albert and Paulette Laik, who she lived with during her early life in Monaco. They both recently passed away and rest just outside the Principality looked over by the family Villa in Menton.
Julia said it has taken her husband and her a while to establish a foundation in which to bring their children into the world, and she hopes that when she has them they will be able to grow up in Monaco and experience some of the many activities and event she enjoyed as a little girl while growing up in the Principality, like the Circus, the Opera, Grand Prix F 1, visiting the Oceanographic Museum, walking with the family in the Exotic Gardens and so much more.
Some of Julia’s art pieces are actually owned by collectors in Monaco, but her dream would be to receive a commission for her works to be displayed in the Gardens of Monaco.
A final thought by Julia: “I pray now for the universe to fulfill my passion to become a Mother and bestow this privilege upon me.”
For details on Julia Cake’s artwork visit: http://www.absolutearts.com/juliacake/