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← Jamian Juliano-Villani Gets to Work | Art21 "New York Close Up"

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Showing Revision 5 created 10/08/2017 by Jelena Pavlovic.

  1. [Ridgewood--Queens]
  2. ["New York Close Up"]
  3. ["Jamian Juliano-Villani Gets to work"]
  4. It's a very simple routine:
  5. I come in,
  6. reheat my coffee,
  7. go on to computer, look at stuff,
  8. clean my brushes,
  9. and then I get to work.
  10. I've not had time off since I started,
    which is crazy.
  11. Once you have a deadline
    it's like impending doom.
  12. It's like a pimp!
  13. Constantly, like you owe someone something.
  14. Stress assassinates creativity.
  15. If you make a bad painting
    and your job is an artist,
  16. it's like the worst.
  17. It's mortifying.
  18. It's like having chocolate all over your face
    or something--
  19. and you're going to some gala.
  20. You're only as good as your last painting--
  21. which sucks--
  22. but, you know, it's kind of the truth.
  23. I was growing up in the middle of nowhere,
    in New Jersey.
  24. And I just wanted to get out of New Jersey
    and get to New York immediately.
  25. New York is where it seemed like all
    the artists went to be artists.
  26. ["Painters Painting"]
  27. I was watching "Painters Painting"--
  28. Stella i Rauschenberg
    and blah blah blah,
  29. and they're all in New York, you know--
  30. sitting on ladders, covered in paint.
  31. For me as a teenager, it was amazing.
  32. "That's..."
  33. "That's it!"
    You know?
  34. Now I romanticize it less
  35. because coming to New York
    and starting to be in the art world thing--
  36. it's insane!
  37. I had a million shitty jobs.
  38. Overnight shift diner waitress.
  39. I worked at a group home.
  40. Taught gymnastics.
  41. Kindergarten teacher.
  42. I organized books for a marine
    who was obsessed with ships.
  43. I was commuting back and forth
    from working at a restaurant in New Jersey.
  44. so I could get my first apartment in New York.
  45. I was basically painting on top of my bed,
  46. staying up every other night to paint.
  47. Slowly, I got a slightly bigger room--
  48. and then I got a slightly bigger room.
  49. Three years ago,
    I actually got my first real studio ever.
  50. That was like Christmas, every day.
  51. --Terrible.
  52. The paintings, I think, are...
  53. They're tricky,
  54. You need to make them better,
    make them weirder
  55. make them smarter,
    make them dumber.
  56. You just paint a snowman
    in the desert...
  57. That's it? Really?
  58. Like, there's no other step,
    you know?
  59. It's like some stupid one-liner?
  60. I have a sense of humor
    and a really light way to approach something.
  61. Just come up with a joke,
  62. and then from there,
    how can you offset that,
  63. so it's like
    psychological or personal?
  64. It's like ping pong
    back and forth, back and forth,
  65. until it's just
    all these things going like this,
  66. negating itself.
  67. A lot of weird decisions just happen here
    by myself
  68. in the middle of the night.
  69. But also a lot of it is talking to other people.
  70. If you have all these voices
    coming here,
  71. it's less of a one-person lecture.
  72. [Ajay Kurian, Artist]
  73. Across the hall is Ajay,
  74. who is an amazing artist.
  75. Man, he saved my ass so many times
    with so many shows.
  76. "Uh, can you give me a minute
    and we could like, um..."
  77. "You could just give me moral support please? Thanks."
  78. --I'm thinking like a very very, super light,
    pale teal kind of colors.
  79. --Blue, or very very pale purple.
  80. --Purple is probably better?
  81. --Like cool purple.
  82. [KURIAN]
    --Like lavender, or?
  83. [JULIANO-VILLANI]
    --Cool ass purple.
  84. [KURIAN]
    --I could see that.
  85. [JULIANO-VILLANI]
    --Right.
  86. --Or like a...
  87. [KURIAN]
    --Is that a vase or a mirror?
  88. [JULIANO-VILLANI]
    --Who the fuck knows?
  89. --It will be a mirror.
  90. [KURIAN]
    --Okay.
  91. [JULIANO-VILLANI]
    --Hmm...
  92. --Fuck.
  93. One of my friends was telling me,
  94. "Just put some crap in there,
    no one can tell."
  95. I was like, "Thanks, jerk!"
  96. [Inhales sharply]
  97. But I can definitely tell.
  98. Because these are supposed to be confident.
  99. I just turned 30.
  100. I mean, I chainsmoke--
    like, you know, a pack and a half a day.
  101. I drink a lot.
  102. My sleeping habits are terrible.
  103. I eat garbage.
  104. This is just a vessel,
    you know what I mean?
  105. The past couple of years, I had so much stamina
  106. and just kept on working and pumping.
  107. And now, it's like, when it actually matters,
  108. I got to make sure I still have it.
  109. I think the main pressure is
    maintaining integrity
  110. and making work that you feel good about--
  111. even under pressure,
    which is really difficult.
  112. I really want to push the paintings--
  113. and I don't know how yet,
    but hopefully I'll figure it out
  114. and make them something
    that they aren't yet.
  115. I know I'm going to make some, like,
  116. embarrassing, bad sculptures
    or videos or something.
  117. But, like, fuck it,
    I got to do it,
  118. now is the time--
  119. while I have the energy.