The 28-year-old painter rejects cliché.
Some artists work quickly and instinctively, while others, like Jamian Juliano-Villani, have a hard time letting go. The 28-year-old painter, who grew up in New Jersey and lives in New York, had to start using an egg timer to save herself from endlessly tweaking her loud, cartoonish compositions. “I’ll give myself 15 minutes, and that’s it,” she says. “Move on. Done.” Since she emerged a couple of years ago with lurid paintings that one critic said possess “just the right amount of wrong,” Juliano-Villani, who is in a group exhibition at New York’s Jewish Museum this month, has almost dared the growing contingent of collectors and curators who follow her to throw her out of the club. Certainly, her work is not what’s currently in fashion: The paintings reject abstraction (“I like things that are legible”); they lack technical polish (“I’m not a good painter”); they care little for process (“I just want to paint efficiently”). They also appropriate characters and imagery of comic book illustrators and animators, which Juliano-Villani, composing with two projectors that allow her to build layered narratives from the stuff she has been geeking out over all her life, configures into chaotic tableaux that are part fan fiction, part self-exegesis. “I paint my anxieties.”