Jamian Juliano-Villani - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | Phillips

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  • “I make my paintings out of necessity, and like using the things around me to communicate what I need to, because I’m really bad at articulating how I feel, vocally. The paintings do that for me.”
    — Jamian Juliano-Villani

    The present work exhibited at New York, The Jewish Museum, Unorthodox,
    6 November 2015 - 27 March 2016


    Executed in 2015 and exhibited at an institutional show in New York later that year, Golden Girl transports viewers into the wildly colourful, bewildering pictorial world of Jamian Juliano-Villani. As alluded to by the work’s title, at the centre of the composition sits the ‘golden girl’ in question – a cross-legged amphibian with bouncy lavender locks. Their depiction shares a distinct likeness to ‘Kappa’, the mischievous river-dwelling spirit found in Japanese folklore, feared for snatching up and devouring humans. As such, whilst the graduation hat that balances atop the moss green creature’s head initially seems a curious addition, a dual witticism is introduced when considering the reptilian in relation to the ‘Kappa’ Greek life of US college fraternities and sororities.



    A depiction of Kappa

    Although chaotic at first glance, the striking composition is in fact carefully considered, composed of a mélange of references culled from the artist’s obsessive absorption of visual culture. Backed by the light of her projector in her Brooklyn studio, Juliano-Villani flicks through her vast bank of television stills, stock photos, fragments of historical artworks, memes, and personal photography archive, ping-ponging between options before tracing the selected images onto canvas in a manner she has likened to ‘drunk Photoshop’ i . Finalising her layered collages through brush and airbrush techniques, the resulting pictures are packed with both sentiment and banal humour, stemming from the very recesses of the artist’s psyche.


    “I'm all about explicitness; not crude, but legible. I feel painting has gone farther and farther away from expressing yourself and is now all about expressing painting traditions. Who cares about that?”
    — Jamian Juliano-Villani

    Highly praised as ‘one of the art world’s most magnetic talents’ ii, Juliano-Villani has been honoured with numerous exhibitions since her first museum solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in 2015.


    More recently, the artist has presented solo exhibitions at the Pond Society in Shanghai, marking Juliano-Villani’s debut in China (2021); Kunsthall Stavanger (2021); JTT Gallery, New York (2020); and Massimo De Carlo, London (2019). Juliano-Villani’s work is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art; New York.


    Jamian Juliano-Villani in her studio, 2015


    Jamian Juliano-Villani quoted in Scott Indrisek, ‘Jamian Juliano-Villani Pranks the Art World with Dumb Jokes—and Serious Painting Chops, Artsy, 6 February 2018, online

    ii Andrew Russeth, ‘Jamian Juliano-Villani, Today's Most Tireless Artist, Readies a New Chapter’, Surface, 17 March 2020, online

    • Provenance

      Private Collection
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York, The Jewish Museum, Unorthodox, 6 November 2015 - 27 March 2016


Golden Girl

signed and dated 'JAMIAN JULIANO-VILLANI 2015' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
96.2 x 96.5 cm. (37 7/8 x 37 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2015.

Full Cataloguing

HK$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for HK$453,600

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022