Julie Curtiss was born in Paris in 1982. She was the only child of a French mother and Vietnamese father. Her mother was a librarian, her father a photographer. She was raised in Montreuil-sous-Bois, an eastern suburb of Paris. Curtiss' parents encouraged her creativity, taking her to museums and giving her art books. She said that her father's cooking and a braid of her mother's hair inspired much of her work.
She attended a preperatory school as a teenager, during which time she said that her creativity became a useful outlet to relieve the anxiety and angst that she experienced during her teenage years.
Curtiss received a BA and MFA fromt the Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she studied from 2001 to 2006. As part of her studies she attended the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden Germany in 2004 and the Art Institute of Chicago from 2005 to 2006. She credits her time in Chicago for exposing her to the Chicago Imagists, a group of Surrealist painters in the 1960s.
It was in Chicago that she met her husband, artist Clinton King. The couple married in 2011. The couple spent a year in Tokyo, where Curtiss taught English and French, They moved from Tokyo to New York.
Curtiss spent a year working for Jeff Koons, then worked for Brian Donnelly (KAWS) for four years, while working on her own art. She credits Donnelly with helping her career by posting her work on his Instagram site. She began showing her work in New York galleries in 2013 with some success, and with even more success in the past three years.
Julie Curtiss and Clinton King live and work in Brooklyn, where they sometimes collaborate, seek each other's advice, share an apartment and have separate studios.
Brian Alfred. Conversation with Julie Curtiss. Sound & Vision Podcast. March 28, 2019.
Nate Freeman. The Millennial Art Star Julie Curtiss’s Paintings Now Sell for Half a Million Dollars. It’s Kind of Freaking Her Out. Artnet News. December 19, 2019.
Sarah Cascone. ‘It Was Like Relationship Bootcamp’: Artists Julie Curtiss and Clinton King on Going Broke to Chase Love, and the Struggles Before Success. Artnet News. February 27, 2020.