Jamian Juliano-Villani review

Art, Contemporary art
4 out of 5 stars
Jamian Juliano-Villani review
copyright the artist, courtesy the artist and massimo de carlo

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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You can’t call the RSPCA for crimes against toys, apparently, but one look at Jamian Juliano-Villani’s art and you’ll desperately want to. I mean, if hammering a dildo into a toy tiger’s mouth over and over again isn’t abuse, then what is?

That’s the only sculpture in the show, but the paintings that accompany it will make you just as uncomfortable. There’s Amy Winehouse emerging from the desert and being saluted by a fleet of jet fighters. There’s a guilty-looking dog brandishing a knife, a goat wearing sheepskin boots and a humanoid deer playing lacrosse, all captured on big canvases in airbrushed perfection, like terrifying seaside holiday T-shirts.   

Apparently, this is all tied to some theme of high-school murder, or an idea based on some Danish outsider artist. But you’re going to have a hard time persuading me that there’s real conceptual heft to making a toy tiger endure forced irrumatio for eternity. Irrumatio, there’s a good word for you. Don’t Google it at work.

Instead, what this feels like to me is boredom. Pure, abject boredom; tedium-induced stupidity. It’s banality to pushed to an extreme. It’s dramatic but nonsensical. These are your dumb, stoned sleepy thoughts – what if your dog killed you with a bagel knife? What if a goat wore boots made from a sheep? What if you shagged a tiny toy tiger in the mouth with a dildo machine forever? – brought to life.

It’s setting something on fire because there’s nothing better to do. And it’s great.


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