Jeremy Willis | Artist Statement
I have been doing paintings of women for the last few years that explore the intersection between the pop culture and personal experience. I just finished some new paintings on this theme that are the first in a larger series of narrative vignettes. I am calling the series “The Return of Jackie and Judy.” The title is from a couple of Ramones’ songs about wayward girls partying around New York.
The painting style is a collision between abstract expressionism (the personal) and comic books/cartooning (pop culture). I also incorporate elements of baroque painting and the visual manifestation of rock and roll culture. Sort of an Ab-ex Betty and Veronica. Or (do you read comics?) Maggie and Hopey from “Love and Rockets” or Enid and Rebecca from “Eightball.”
The paintings have a sense of compromised exuberance. The expressive is thwarted by the false promises of youth and pop culture, the insanity of addiction/compulsion cycles, and the disenchantment of contemporary New York. The compromised nature of personal expression seen via the lens of hedonism.