If you find the hoity-toity New York art scene a little blase these days, you need to hightail it over to The Hole on Thursday to catch Jaimie Warren's new show, The Whoas of Female Tragedy II. Don't let that title scare you.
The joy and fun she had making this stuff just oozes from every deranged and colorful piece, from her lo-budget recreations of Picasso and Boticelli to her self-portraits as Janis from The Muppet Show or a (multiple) joint-smoking Ganesh. Her kooky Koons-meets-Sherman oeuvre is beyond multimedia, mixing photography, painting, acting, video and found art with influences like John Waters, RuPaul, Carol Channing, Roseanne, and Lil Wayne into a creative stew all her own.
My first encounter with her eccentric genius was when, as a photo editor, I hired her to photograph a local rapper in her hometown of Kansas City. Rather than typically cliched macho shot, Jaimie spent her budget making a fake cardboard buffet table with this poor dude's head on a platter of coldcuts, hard boiled eggs, and olives on toothpicks. I fell in love immediately.
Her personal work includes even odder hybrids of celebrities and food. "I'm always hungry," Jaimie explains. "Food is delicious and weird and funny looking!"
Behold the bizarre OreOprah and Lasagna Del Rey photos. She even curates a website, TotallyLooksLike.com, where visitors can compare other famous types to foodstuffs.
Life in Kansas City is way easier for an artist, when the average rent is $300. One of her longtime local besties is Cody Critcheloe, singer of the band Ssion, whose shows and videos Jaimie has been part of. The two are the spearheads of a KC queer art renaissance-overpriced hipster mecca Williamsburg wishes it had an iota of their mojo.
So to hell with Chelsea galleries, Art Basel, and the drab and dreary work of recent years. Cheer up! With lovable lunatics like Jaimie Warren out there, the future of art is sure to be a good time.