Meet Julia Sherman

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Julia Sherman was born and bred in New York City. Sherman runs “Salad for President,” an evolving publishing project that draws a meaningful connection between food, art, and everyday obsessions. Each of Sherman’s blog entries contains a salad recipe made in collaboration with an artist, musician, writer, or creative professional, living their lives artfully. Sherman has written the “Salad For President Cookbook,” published by Abrams Books in Spring 2017.
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Shirt, Levi's Made & Crafted; Jumpsuit, Tome ; Shoes, No.6

on her morning routine

I don’t really have a morning routine since my projects and schedule are always changing and I travel so frequently for work. That said, when I am lucky enough to be at home, my days start with a strong cup of coffee and a walk to Fort Greene park with my husband and my dog Lucy. Back at home, I like to make a savory breakfast (often salad and eggs, or even brothy soup with a poached egg), and tend to my plants and my garden before opening up the computer and hitting the ground running.

on creating salad garden

When I made my Salad Garden at the Getty Museum, I discovered the original house that was built on the property way before the museum was built. It was this gem of a Mid-Century home with a swimming pool that ran from outside to the living room. It had the sweeping views that the museum is famous for, but it was wonderful to imagine this home had been the only property on the mountain top at one time. So, I found the architect, Harry Gesner, who is in his 90s and living in Malibu. I went to his house and we made a salad, and then I offered to grow his favorite plant, horseradish, at the museum garden I would go on to plant that coming winter. I invited him back to the little house he built almost 50 years ago, and we made a video wearing WWII gas masks and pureeing the root the way he used to when he was young. He is a wild character, and someone I felt so privileged to spend time with. I am not sure how that could have happened if salad hadn't been the foil for our introduction.

Julia's favorite books
The MoMA Artist’s Cookbook is a real inspiration to me. It has recipes and conversations with 155 artists, from Louise Bourgeois to Salvador Dali. Some of the recipes are just funny or conceptual, like Warhol’s which instructs you to open a can of tomato soup and heat it up. That’s it. My dad gave me this book as a gift when I was a kid and I forgot about it until recently, which makes me think it must have been embedded deep in my subconscious. Also, can we get a round of applause for dads who know their kids better than they know themselves?
— on her faovirte books

on becoming an artist

I have always been an artist. I grew up in my mother's art studio, so I can't think of a time where art wasn't essential to my identity. I grew up in Manhattan as well, so going to the museum was required. I was lucky enough to have people encourage my creativity from an early age and still to this day: family (my mom and both my grandmothers were artists), to incredible professors who still support my career.

on creating her blog

After finishing my MFA at Columbia University, I was exhibiting my work in galleries and museums, but I found myself pouring more willing energy into the meals I prepared for friends than I did into my art work. I think my time in the New York art world really altered my perspective on what it means to be a "professional artist," and I no longer felt like I was having the kinds of conversations I wanted to have with my peers. I was cooking all the time and my husband urged me to start a blog, given that writing and photography were my primary media already. I have never and still don't read food blogs, so the idea was hard for me to grasp. I started to document my cooking and was really challenged and inspired by food photography. It was a whole new thing for me. I started blogging three salads a day, and eventually, other artists started asking me if they could contribute their favorite recipes to the project. My artwork had always been super collaborative, more about other people than myself in some ways, so the project just evolved from there. I realized I had found the hack that would allow me to be an artist, participate in the art world, but not be beholden to it. 

Julia's favorite records
That Javelin record is one of my favorites to cook to. They are dear friends of ours from when we all lived and in Providence, RI, and I get a kick out of hearing them sing. They are so humble and approachable, I love knowing the people on the other end of amazing music.
— on her favorite record
Outfit, Vintage

Outfit, Vintage

on her beauty routine

I don't have much of a beauty routine, though I probably should! I try and keep things pretty simple since I have the world's most sensitive skin. I suppose the only thing I am committed to is keeping my skin moisturized. I wear tons of sunblock, this Jurlique cream (which is basically a thick paste), and I use coconut oil in my hair and almond oil on my body. Every now and then I do this powdered Rare Earth Clay facial mask from the health food store, and it does wonders to exfoliate and brighten skin. Also, avocado and manuka honey whipped together makes an amazing face mask. I use Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant.

on her shopping habits

I can't say I really shop at any one place. I am more of a collector than a shopper. I like to buy clothes when I travel, things I find along the way. That said, the brand that really fits me well is Apiece Apart. I used to dress like a demented baby doll, all kinds of vintage clothes with embellishments and ruffles from head to toe, but lately I have been trying to reign it in, wear more monochromes, structured sophisticated tailored lines. I find when I wear clothing like that, I take myself more seriously and other people do as well.

on her book, salad for president

The book, Salad for President, will be published in May of 2017, and it will be a cookbook inspired by artists. I am featuring 10 artists in a similar format as I do on my blog. I shot the artists over the course of the last year, traveling to places like Japan, Mexico and California. Many of the conversations we had were about how they conceive of themselves as artists or creative thinkers, and how that extends beyond their “work” and into their everyday lives. On top of that, there are about 70 of my own recipes in the book, plant-based food and drinks that best express my love of produce, cooking and entertaining.

Julia's favorite beauty products
About two years ago, Chopt’s founder Tony Shure sent me three consecutive messages on Instagram insisting we had to meet. Their menu being inspired by travel and “faraway flavors,” he proposed his company pay me a salary to travel and create a blog for them. I could consult on design related work, and even use the ground floor of his building in Red Hook as an event space for both Chopt’s private events and my own. It was such a ridiculously generous proposition, I didn’t take it seriously. After some light negotiation, I came on board and haven’t looked back since. Having spent my life navigating the nuanced waters of the art world, it is so refreshing to work with people who are straight-forward, who do not shy away from talking about money, and who believe you should be compensated for your hard work and creativity.  I love my job and pinch myself everyday, I can’t believe how fortunate I am to have landed there.
— on her collaborations
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julia's favorite books

Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston's Women Health Book Collective, Bauhaus Women by Ingrid Radewaldt, Sandra Kemker, and Ulrike Müller, Museum of Modern Art Artists' CookbookKim Kardashian West: Selfish by Kim Kardashian West, Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees by Lawrence Weschler

julia's favorite records

The Legendary Patsy Cline by Patsy Cline, Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: a Retrospective by Brian Jonestown Massacre, Imagine Our Love by Lavender Diamond, No Mas by Javelin

julia's favorite movies

The Act of Killing, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Sleeper, The Gleaners and I

julia's favorite places in nyc

I love to eat at restaurants where I know the chefs and they are can tell you about the food themselves. Any restaurant by chef Alex Raij (Txikito, El Quinto Pino or La Vara), is my preferred way to eat. Small plates, Spanish/Basque food and great wine. Also, Mission Chinese because Angela is a genius and conceptualizes each dish as an artist would. 

Overalls & SHIRT, Vintage ; Shoes,   PUMA X SOLANGE DISC COLLECTION ; Hat, Clyde ; Sunglasses, DUSEN and dusen

Overalls & SHIRT, Vintage ; Shoes, PUMA X SOLANGE DISC COLLECTION ; Hat, Clyde ; Sunglasses, DUSEN and dusen

photography by lanna apisukh