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 the generally lurid work is nicely offset by its host: 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