In exuberant sculptures, installations, site-specific murals, paintings, drawings, and performances, Julia Csekö addresses the human condition with what could be described as critical optimism. Themes both grand and intimate, like geopolitics, war, economic inequality, and the joys, struggles, and routines of life run throughout her work. Through this combination of the political and personal, she aims to counter fatalism with joy and creativity. “The idea in these pieces is to make space for one’s mind to move freely over what would seem too vast or complex: war, poverty/wealth, and managing a globalized society,” Csekö explains. In her “Hybrids” series, for example, she takes a soft approach—literally—to these thorny issues by transforming soldiers, corporate marauders, and couples into plush, colorful dolls with branching, interconnected limbs.