Julie Mehretu Biography

(American Painter or contemporary visual artist)

Julie Mehretu is a visual artist who paints abstracted landscapes.

More about the relationship

Julie Mehretu is a lesbian. During her high school, she came out to her friends as gay but she didn’t come out to her parents until her college years.

She married Jessica Rankin who is an Australian. She is also a painter. The couple met for the first time in 2000. The pair together also has an apartment in Berlin.

The couple has also two sons named Cade (born in 2005) and Haile (born in 2011).

Relationship Facts of Julie Mehretu

  • Julie Mehretu is married to Jessica Rankin.
  • She is mother of Two (Cade and Haile).
  • Julie Mehretu is not having an affair with anyone presently.
  • Her sexual orientation is not straight and is lesbian.

Who is Julie Mehretu?

Julie Mehretu is renowned as an American contemporary visual artist. She is best known for her work multi-layered paintings of abstracted landscapes on a large scale.

Lately, she was listed in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2020.

Julie Mehretu: Age, Family, Siblings, Ethnicity, Education

Julie was born in the year 1970 but her birth month and date are still hasn’t disclosed. The birthplace of Mehretu is Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

She holds an American nationality and belongs to the Ethiopian-American ethnicity.

Mehretu was born to her father named Assefa Mehretua and her mother named Doree Mehretu. Her father is an Ethiopian college professor of geography whereas her mother is an American Montessori teacher.

However, she has never mentioned his siblings in the media. In 1977, she immigrated to East Lansing, Michigan, with her parents to escape political turmoil.


Mehretu studied at East Lansing High School and she then completed her bachelor’s from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan Arts.

She did a junior year abroad at Cheikh Anta Diop University  (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal. In 1997, she earned a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island.

Julie Mehretu: Professional Life, Career

  • In 1999, she moved to New York to pursue her painting career and take participate in the exhibition Painting at the Edge of the World at the Walker Art Center 2001.
  • From 2004 to 2005, her work was exhibited in Carnegie International: A Final Look.
  • She has participated in numerous group exhibitions such as the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, Studio Museum in Harlem, White Cube gallery in London, and more.
  • In 2007, she received her first big break in her career when she accepted a large-scale painting for Goldman Sachs’s new headquarters at the World Financial Center.
  • Also, she has worked on loan at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and the Ambassador’s residence in London.
  • She has exhibited internationally too. In 2019, she made her solo exhibition in the UK in which she showed smaller prints and drawings as opposed to monumental paintings.
  • She has her studio with her partner, Jessica Rankin.

Awards & Nomination

  • Mehretu was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award in 2000.
  • In 2001, she received a Penny McCall Award.
  • On September 20, 2005, she was referred to as the ‘genius grant’ and named as one of the 2005 MacArthur Fellowship.
  • Similarly, she received the US Department of State Medal of Arts from Secretary of State John Kerry in 2015.

Julie Mehretu: Net Worth, Salary

In 2013, her painting, ‘Retopistics: A Renegade Excavation’ commanded $4.6 million at a Christie’s auction, ranking her among the top ten most expensive living female artists.

Likewise, she sold her painting Untitled 1 for $1.02 million at Sotheby’s in September 2010. As of 2014, its estimated value has been in the range of $600 to $800,000 at Art Basel.

She might have earned a handsome amount of fortune from her successful career as a painter. But she hasn’t yet revealed her exact net worth, yearly income, and real estate.

Body Measurement: Height, Weight

Mehretu has a brown pair of eyes and brown hair as well.

Furthermore, her body measurement including her height, weight, and other physics are still under the curtain at the moment.

Social Media

Julie is active on Instagram with more than 8.1k followers where she has only uploaded one post to date.

Likely, she has more than 4.6k followers on her Twitter account.

However, she is not available on Facebook.


  • As of 2022, she is 52 years old.
  • Currently, she resides in New York.
  • Her father-in-law is also a successful artist David Rankin whereas her mother-in-law was port and playwright, Jennifer Rankin.

You may also read Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer, Karen Florek, and Michael Turchin.