Jane LaFarge Hamill is a painter and virtual reality artist. She makes paintings that are emotionally dense, abstract compositions of vivid color. Her virtual reality work explodes their scale into larger than life- size digital translations which the viewer can walk about, while discovering their own agency to interact with the brush marks surrounding them. Hamill is represented in NYC by FMLY Gallery, and is currently participating in the 2020 class at New Inc at The New Museum.
Tell me about this piece, “Dumpster Fire”…
Jane LaFarge Hamill: “Dumpster Fire” is a term for a chaotic or mishandled situation. Which seemed like an apt title for a group of work made in reflection of the last year- it’s about everything from the American media cycle, to environmental issues, to personal crap. Not to downplay any of these things, but the term dumpster fire is also silly, or maybe absurd, and laughing at yourself or the situation is sometimes the only way to cope until you’re through.
The particular work I called “Dumpster Fire” is 16″ x 12″ Oil on cradled panel. I made it while working on another painting that ultimately failed because I was trying too hard - this one I revisited a few times over a couple days very briefly using it almost like a note-pad for a questionable idea.
Jane LaFarge Hamill Dumpster Fire, 2019, Oil on cradled panel (16 x 12 in / 40.64 x 30.48 cm)
Talk to me about your overall sense of self, and emotions in January 2020?
Jane LaFarge Hamill: I’m excited for change, and the transition into a new year is as good excuse as any to be hopeful – my goals are to chill out and have a better time enjoying the life I have. I live on a farm in a beautiful location with good people. I get to work in NYC twice a week at the arts and tech incubator at New Inc that I’m participating in with an inspiring work partner. I’ve got a happy baby girl and supportive husband, and I get to paint- and people seem to like those paintings.
What advice can you pass on to fellow creators?
Jane LaFarge Hamill: Make the work for yourself. In my experience, if I think about a painting I’m working on hanging in a gallery or having a life outside the studio, it will get ruined- the work becomes self conscious; a forgone conclusion, boring and stilted. If I make the paintings just for themselves- they become what they need to be in their own time and on their own terms; which is what makes them good.
What has been your most recent fascinating discovery?
Jane LaFarge Hamill: I just learned a lesson: Take your body on a vacation before it takes you on one. (I’m sick in bed right now)
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