Slapdash, funny and deeply, deeply Instagrammable, New York-based Jamian Juliano-Villani has produced a sweet summer treat. Like a soft scoop ice cream special with hundreds and thousands, a flavoured cone AND a Flake, this show is an all out assault and loud acrylic paintings and sculpture. And all the better for being offset by one of London’s poshest and soberest private gallery spaces.
My favourite - introduced via Russell Tovey’s Instagram of all places - features a cuddly tiger getting savagely orally pumped by a mechanised dildo in a plastic bag. If you can’t imagine what that looks like, check out the picture below.
Source: Massimo de Carlo
Also note the airbrush-effect, nonsensical acrylics in the background. Across both floors of the exhibition, paintings feature cuddly puppies, a muscular naked man on a beach, a goat in Uggs, monster trucks, knives and baseball gloves.
The show notes suggest that Juliano-Villani is interested by “banal drama”, the title meant to sound like a Mean Girls-style school bully’s threat. I got a different vibe, though: a kind of careless, confident, loud relentlessness.
Like a really good, really bad Mr Whippy, the show went down a treat, rapidly, and left me with a pleasurable headache.
Side note: I was accompanied around the gallery on my first visit by a pair of Orthodox teens, maybe brothers?, in full ringlets and black rigout. I wonder if they caught a similar ice cream high.
Jamian Juliano-Villani: Let’s Kill Nicole is at Massimo de Carlo (London). June 21 - September 21 2019