Jamian Juliano-Villani is an artist based in NYC whose paintings are an interesting mix of reappropriated cartoon pop culture and surreal, unsettling, and sometimes narrative scenes in a flat, graphic style. Jamian’s work is similar to some contemporary nostalgia-referencing artists but retains a uniquely mysterious quality.
Looking at Jamian’s work, one of the first things I was reminded of was the work of Anthony Ausgang, whose work occupies a similar aesthetic realm and utilizes some of the same motifs and cartoon-like characters. Jamian’s figures are whimsical and familiar but have a dark, dreamlike quality that is like a child’s nightmare filtered through naive imagery. In one image a pair of bell-bottom-clad legs with Mickey Mouse arms is discovered hanging by its neck-waist, which is also the belt around its goofy pants. Another image features shirtless pig-humans that look a lot like the thing from Super Mario Bros. 2 that shot eggs out of its nose (Editor’s Note: She was called Birdo). It all looks a lot like the subconscious imaginings of a kid who’s overdosed on cartoons and early 90’s video games. Check out more of Jamian’s work by clicking here.