Chatting with Our Favorite Art Freak Jaimie Warren

By Max Kessler
We've had our eye on artist Jaimie Warren since her early days performing with SSION and  we're full-on obsessed with her current exhibit at The Hole, The Whoas of Female Tragedy II, which is full of outlandish self-portraits recreating popular Internet memes.  We're so obsessed that we're announcing a little early that Jaimie Warren is going to be one of PAPER's Beautiful People of 2013! Though we can't reveal too much about her profile -- we'd have to kill you and all that -- we definitely want to share some of her great quotes so that you can get your fill of our favorite art freak. Read below and get excited for the next issue.

On growing up a poseur:
I was kind of a weird loner that would change myself to fit into [different groups]. I had a phase where I was hanging out with straight-edge skateboarders and then I hung out with the goth kids or the punk kids but it was more of dressing the part. I know in middle school -- it was a mostly Hispanic school -- I told people my last name was "Warrenez" and wore all hip-hop clothes.
 
On where she looks to for inspiration:
I don't look to contemporary art as much as I look to reality television or crazy characters I grew up watching like Pee-Wee Herman, Elvira, Little Richard, Joan Rivers or the Muppets.

On working with kids:
I love collaborating and working with kids and performing and pushing the boundaries of what kids can see and accessibility in general. I love the fact that with the new show [Whoas of Female Tragedy II] and new stuff, it's so accessible to people. I'd hide in the gallery and see peoples' reactions and they were legitimately laughing. I feel like everybody can have a personal connection to the work because we're all affected by pop culture and you can related to the aesthetic. Anything that's in there, you feel like you could make it yourself.

On femininity:
All the images touch on these topics -- femininity and male-female [roles] and the Internet and celebrity culture and pop culture and gender and race. It's using images people are familiar with on the Internet and in a humorous way talk about more sensitive topics. I'm creating an equal playing field because not only am I not really doing a great job looking like these characters -- because it has this DIY feel to it and looks handmade and none of us are experts in making this stuff -- I'm also trying to be characters like Elizabeth Hurley, which obviously I'm far from. But at the same time as I'm being a female model or Lil' Kim, I'm also being Easy E or Stevie Wonder or Rod Stewart and a spider and an artichoke and Picasso.

Also make sure to check out this FaderTV clip in which Jaimie walks us through her work. And watch for the surprise ending -- we hope you're okay, girl.
 


Photo from Whoas of Female Tragedy II, courtesy of The Hole Gallery. For more photos click HERE.

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