“Being conscious of fucking up assassinates creativity,” declares Jamian Juliano-Villani, a powerful force who charges into unknown territory. Her painting process is maniacal, she’s hungry for data, voraciously reading, watching and absorbing stimulation, then filtering it through her mind and hand and into dynamic paintings that provoke weird feelings and intriguing confusion. Backed by the bright light of a projector, she beams countless layers of imagery onto the canvas to render a storified collage of information. Through an obsessive absorption of visual culture, she has gained an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure, provocative facts that inform her work—her own world of fiction inspired by truth. Her work is unusual, her place in our future history is already carved out, and she’s about to get crunk.
Kristin Farr: What are some fascinating facts you’ve learned or obsessed about in your search for source material?
Jamian Juliano-Villani: I just recently watched E.T. again. Turns out Steven Spielberg built the set ten feet above the ground so the actor playing E.T. was never seen by the other child actors, which means they actually thought that E.T. was a real alien, and Spielberg specifically filmed the movie in chronological order to get a genuine emotional response from the child actors. Also, insanely, the actor that plays E.T. was, in reality, a 12-year-old born without legs who would perfect E.T.'s waddle since he was experienced with walking on his hands. It blows my mind that the person inside the E.T. costume was a handicapped child that was never seen but looked at other children through a small hole in a claustrophobic costume. That emotionally trumps the movie times ten.
That is truly shocking. Did any movie scar you for life as a child?