From March 17-20th, I exchange the paint brush for slip-on loafers. The Artist Project will debut at Pier 92 in Manhattan, as I pull a contemporary Gregor Samsa — artist becomes art dealer. The talent I represent describes himself as “the illegitimate child of Bill Nye The Science Guy, Bob Vila, and an artist of your choice.”
We are, in fact, a modern day bromance — having met first on Twitter, then in person. Today, we spend a great deal of time sharing ideas, slamming PBR’s and enjoying the occasional Hetero Hot Tub (HHT) session.
One of the many reasons I love art is the people. Jeremy is good people, and I look forward to placing his incredible work in the right collections. After the jump, a Q&A with the artist himself, and an offer for free admission to The Artist Project (including the Opening Reception; a $9,000,000 value).
For those of us who don’t know… Jeremy Penn the artist, the man, who are you?
I don’t know how to add anymore then being an artist and a man.
Why did you choose The Artist Project over many other art fair?
Most other art fairs are open strictly to galleries. The Artist Project allows the artist to dictate what work they want to exhibit.
You have garnered a great deal of attention in the interior design and architectural spheres, is having recognition as an artist more important to you?
Being an artist is the foundation for all the work I do. The difference between creating art for the home furnishings industry vs. fine art is the attention to audience. When I am working on my personal work, there is deep connection between me and the work itself. It is an extremely powerful and vulnerable experience. When creating work for the home furnishings industry, I need to take in account color trends, textile trends, industrial design, etc.. I have a deep respect for the science and rules that go into that work but it isn’t as personal as my fine art. So to answer your question, yes, being recognized for my fine art is much more important to me because it is me.
You have been working extensively on a new series which will debut on March 17th, can you tell us about it (or, him)?
You must be talking about William Murphy. I am excited but at the same time nervous about exhibiting my William Murphy work. I have never been more deeply connected to a body of work then I am with Mr. Murphy.
Here is the brief story behind him. I received a stack of original mugshots in the mail from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. The dates ranged from the 1890-1917. I was sent them just for my viewing pleasure. As I was flipping through these pieces of history, I came across William Murphy’s mugshot. I was locked in the gaze of his stare like when you first view the Mona Lisa.
I didn’t know what I was going to do with this image but I know that I needed it permanently. So I bought it off the original owner. That was a year ago. Since that day, he has been the subject of 95% of my work. I have studied every inch of this man. I have met with the National Archives in San Bruno, CA and New York, NY. I have explored new art techniques to bring this image to life and share it with the world. What ever you think you know about William Murphy is pure deception. William Murphy is a mirror. He will teach you more about your life then you will ever learn about his.
Over the past year, you have cultivated a diverse body of work, what will you be showing?
What is the one piece of your own artwork you wish you could never sell?
I want to sell them all. Nothing validates my work like someone buying it so they can look at it everyday.
It is really undefined. I experiment with a variety of materials, constantly exploring new depths in my process. I layer a lot of work and then light it on fire or scrape it away. For work involving a subject, there is a lot preparation done prior to the actual painting. When I did my portraits of Bardot and Birkin, I first did a lot of research on them as individuals and then I watched 6 of their films and studied their faces from multiple angles. The portraits are not just a frozen moments in time. They tell a story about them and their vulnerabilities.
Artists come in many shapes and forms; tortured, happy-go-lucky, drug abusers, business men… where do you fit?
I am none of what you described above although I sometimes feel tortured. I would say I am more like the illegitimate child of Bill Nye The Science Guy, Bob Vila, and an artist of your choice.
It’s ten years in the future, and you pick up a publication and read about yourself… what is the source, and what is it saying?
Winning! A story of Bromance between Artist Jeremy Penn and Actor Charlie Sheen.
Visitors to The Artist Project will have three days to snap up a Penn… one sentence one why they should…
I don’t sell many original works publicly because they are usually snapped up by collectors early on.
— Thank you for a great interview Jeremy. The first three people to email me the subject of Jeremy’s new series will each receive two complimentary passes to The Artist Project, March 17-20, 2011 at Pier 92 on the West Side Highway, in Manhattan.
If you have queries about acquisition, please contact me directly.