Jamian Juliano-Villani Talks Painting

Jamian Juliano-Villani, Third World, 2013COURTESY THE ARTIST

Jamian Juliano-Villani, Third World, 2013


Alright! It was feeling like a pretty sleepy Friday afternoon over here at the ARTnews offices, but then writer Jonathan Griffin dropped an extensive interview with the very exciting Brooklyn-based painter Jamian Juliano-Villani on his blog, and now things are looking up. Lots of good stuff here. Below, an especially toothsome excerpt.

Jamian Juliano-Villani: I think making paintings about painting – especially about historical abstraction – is way too self indulgent and masturbatory. I think illustration is much more powerful. Illustration actually gives you something. It’s not lofty, it’s not open-ended, its not bullshit, it’s explicit. Art’s already alienating enough.

Griffin: But aren’t your paintings also open-ended? No matter how graphic or explicit they are.

JJV: They’re not just meant for the art world though. I hate these high-brow / low-brow distinctions, because they imply taste, and class. I’m just trying to use things that my little brother gets, and the Verizon guy who comes to my studio gets. My paintings are meant to function like TV, in a way. The viewer is supposed to become passive. Instead of alluding or whispering, like a lot of art does, this is art that tells you what’s up. It kind of does the work for you, like TV does.

Juliano-Villani’s had recent solo shows at Rawson Projects in Brooklyn and Retrospective in Hudson, New York. You can read the whole interview over at Griffin’s blog.

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