NEW to Superhero mag ~ ART CHiiCK CHATZ ~ our Digital Art Director Aoife Dunne gets talking + flirting to the hotte$t arty babes around! First up Aoife gets chatting to the super talented performance Artist and Photographer Jaimie Warren to find out more about the process, meaning and drive behind her most recent works!
What is the process behind your work?
I think there have been so many stages that it’s hard to tell? The work I am doing now I owe a lot to the kids show I codirect called Whoop Dee Doo (w hoopdeedoo.tv) which allowed me to become more comfortable with my own aesthetic and abilities to create sets, costumes, objects, etc. I owe tons to the amazing artists I worked with like E rin Zona and L ee Heinemann, and of course M att Roche who has helped and been a huge part of every project of mine for the past ten years. Since 2006 I have always been the community coordinator, working with performance and youth groups in different cities to create wild variety shows. The experiences I have had organizing and working with kids, collaborating, teaching, and years later helping more with the visual sides of Whoop Dee Doo really lead to what the work is becoming now.
A few years ago I received a free studio residency, and I had never had my own studio. It allowed me to experiment and make TONS of work, and it was the start of a whole new world for me. The pieces started small and solo, and eventually involved my friends and roommates, small groups. Within two years I was doing giant residencies, involving nearly a hundred people in some of these pieces, making them huge community efforts. I really love where it’s going and I’m striving for the experiences in making them to be as meaningful and important as the experiences I have with Whoop Dee Doo.
What do you like most about your work?
I like that I am finally getting to be comfortable enough with myself and proud of the things I love that I am almost…. aaaaalmost not scared to speak or perform in front of a crowd. My passion for the characters or celebrities I love can almost completely wash out my fear. I also love having the weirdest, wildest range of characters, where often people don’t know what I look like and they are looking at 50 photos of me – as an ice cream cone, Yoda, Santa, Lil Kim, etc. Ha!
Have you always enjoyed dressing up and creating a desired identity for yourself?
I think so? I know that I have always been a character, I have always been a comedian of sorts class clown in high school and such, but I never really dove into it like I am now. I think it was always something I wanted to do, in the same way I would kind of love to try acting, but I never had the guts to do it until recently.
Do you think that how we present ourselves affects how people perceive us?
Absolutely! I am only just now, at 35, starting to fully realize this. I think I have always focused on friends, trying to be funny, working hard, etc, but really kept my priorities in terms of having a “look” or spending time on my own presentation at a bare minimum. I feel like I have been 90% crocs and paintsplattered aprons with leggings and ratty tshirts for the past 15 years. Oops! I read this quote pretty recently and look at it often Citing a “paradox of selfcare,” Dr. Michelle
Segar wrote, “ The more energy you give to caring for yourself, the more energy you have for everything else.”
Do you view fashion as entertainment?
I see fashion as being very important, intimidating, necessary, but I know very little about it. I have no sense of style. I am stuck in a time warp. When I think about fashion, though, it’s never about entertainment per se, it feels more about tracing the origins and thinking about why certain things, as insane as they may look, are so vital and can drive people to do amazing things and be amazing people.
Oh! Im also obsessed with celebs with insane fashion like Little Richard, Dolly Parton, Flavor Flav and Elvira, and I watch Nomi’s Song and The Legend of Leigh Bowery constantly, mostly for the outfits.
like how you deal with celebrity culture, what are you trying to say by using famous faces?
I really always have some sort of connection to every celeb I am impersonating whether it’s a memory, an appreciation for them, or a downright obsession. I really
feel like each image is an homage to that person, and often an homage to the amazing photoshopped image that morphed them into something even more incredible and bizarre.
What is your favourite character you have become and why?!
My Michael Jackson tribute is still my favorite, I think mostly because Michael is my favorite. I think I need to do another Michael piece because he is still lodged pretty deep in my system. Plus, the community I worked with in San Diego, it all
flowed so well and was such a wonderful experience. It really tied together all of my favorite things!
Do you consider your performances as acting?
Yes and no! I feel like I am being myself, but really trying to channel that pop culture icon whoever it may be at the time – from GG Allin to Michael Jackson to Missy Elliott to Stevie Wonder to Rod Stewart – they are all important to me and I’m just trying to do my best to honor them. I am sure there is some acting there, it’s just not what I am thinking about when I am on a stage or in front of a camera.
Do you explore different parts of your personality through the characters in your work?
I think that I am really just exploring who I am, and trying to challenge myself, and trying to collaborate and work with people in a way that is fun and fruitful. I am working TONS with high school students these days and it’s totally gratifying and fun.
I think that whether I am performing or posing in a photo or creating something with my hands, it’s always just a push to develop my practice or push myself to do something better or weirder or different than I’ve done before!
Check out + fan girl some more over Jamie’s work here