Through the sounds of sirens and clouds of pollution, it can be difficult to remember that cities are spaces made for people. Towering mountains, expansive forests, and rolling waves offer awe and respite, but their existence is not contingent upon ours. In his solo exhibition LOLO at Hashimoto Contemporary, the French artist Jean Jullien wonders if, despite being built by and for people, high-density apartment complexes and jammed subway cars are the best place for humans to live; And, if the alternatives of country living are as idyllic as they seem. With Jullien’s typical witty humor, this new series of paintings and site-specific drawings offer musings over the paradox between desiring a calm, peaceful life in the countryside while craving the nightlife and company of the city.

Employing swift, loose brushstrokes, Jullien’s works are playful, even when he contemplates the larger questions of how and where to live the best life. The site specific drawings in the gallery muse on the cramped yet convivial environment of the city: from New York to Paris, these crowded metropolises have been sites of communion for the starry eyed, incubators for technical innovators, keepers of culture, history, and gourmanderie. They are also smelly, expensive, and, allegedly, dangerous, prompting the artist to wonder about those moments when he longs for escape.

His series of paintings depict small, anonymous figures punctuating the pastoral scenes of fields, oceans, alpines, beaches. These scenes are not celebrating the sublime chaos of nature but told from our small human perspective of the gentle serenity offered by a life in the sticks. Or so we imagine. In Jullien’s depictions of our small clothed bodies enjoying natural wonders—from the sea to the sky—we notice how expansive the landscape is, how desolate and even lonely it can be. Cities will grow, shrink, rise, and crumble as humanity’s path blunders on, but nature’s indifference to us will long surpass our love of it.

LOLO opens on March 30th with an opening reception from 6 pm - 8 pm, the artist will be in attendance. A walkthrough with the artist and Juxtapoz Editor in Chief Evan Pricco will take place at the opening at 6:30 pm. The exhibition will be on view March 30th—April 27th.