Le Séduction De Glamour – Jeremy Penn
Montauk is the perfect fit for Jeremy Penn’s summer artist residency. The New York-based modern artist’s intensely hued style matches the naturally vibrant and whimsical vibe that attracts many to this eclectic beach scene. Until the end of July, The Montauk Beach House will be hosting Penn and will see its lobby walls revamped with a cavalcade of colors intended to capture the spirit downtown Montauk exudes. In the interview below, Penn tells me what we can expect to see from him during his residency and what mark he wants to leave afterwards:
Well, you’ve made it…your work is on display at the Montauk Beach House and we’re featuring you on our blog Low Tide. How does that make you feel?
It feels really great to have my work up in such a beautiful place. It feels even better that the work is being recognized.
What is it about Montauk that makes it a perfect match for you? Has the East End influenced your aesthetic at all?
My childhood was a mix of the glam of Manhattan and the natural elements found on the shores of Long Island. I have been visiting Montauk from as early as I can remember and always feel a sense of home when I can taste the saltwater in the air. Artists throughout history have felt this connection with the East End. For me, it has to do with a sense of solitude that comes with being surrounded by water. There is a mysterious energy out East that makes me want to pick up a paintbrush and begin to paint something massive.
Montauk is obviously a beautiful and picturesque locale…has nature served as a source of inspiration for you?
Your work is so vibrant and intensely-hued. It’s beautiful. Will this characteristic of your work be reflected in the live painting you’ll be doing here in June?
The vibrance and intensity are a result of colors popping off one another. Someone once described my work as “bringing a diva to dinner party.” What they meant by that was that my work stands out and has a tendency to steal attention. Expect to see more of that when I paint live.
What mark do you want to leave on the Montauk community, specifically, the beach house?
Montauk is having its renaissance moment and art needs to be at the forefront of that. Communities thrive when art leads. The staff support at the Montauk Beach House has been nothing short of amazing. Their enthusiasm for this residency showed me their dedication towards the arts and its permanency in Montauk.
Any fun outdoor (non art-related) activities planned for while you’re out in Montauk?
I will definitely hit ditch plains for a little surf.
Are you hoping this residency will inspire your style to evolve at all, and if so, how?
Since I have lived in NYC for the past 15 years, my work has become more “industriously chic.” This series gave me a chance to reflect upon and draw inspiration from the natural environment that encompassed most of my childhood. Through this series I learned how the past shaped the artist that I am today. I will to continue explore that further.
Your “Hot Lips” series features glamour queen Brigitte Bardot. What is it about this particular icon that inspired you?
Bardot has been a recurring subject in my work since 2006. Bardot has always captured my imagination, as well as my aesthetic appreciation. In our modern era, a woman in charge of her own sexuality is nothing new. We’ve seen it all before, with iconic female figures in the spotlight, from the striking, seductive androgyny of Grace Jones to the aggressive self-assertion of Madonna. Yet rewind 60 years, and the world, at least for females, was a very different place. In the post-war years, women were encouraged to be demure, lady-like, refined, and ultimately, non-sexual. Women who celebrated their sexuality were frowned upon, regarded as somehow debased and ‘unnatural.’
Her ripe, almost sulky pout, her fantastic bone structure (I particularly love the often challenging tilt of her chin, as though daring her audience to not adore her!) and her expressive eyes are of obvious appeal, on an aesthetic level.
Tell me more about the live painting you will be doing. How are you approaching it? Do you have a specific plan?
I am planning either a big painting of Bardot or Kate Moss. I will flip a coin right before getting started.
This is obviously the highlight of your summer, but what’s coming up for you after your residency?
I will be focusing on my next show which is in October at Coldstream Fine Art in Toronto.
Opening Reception for Jeremy Penn’s Le Seduction de Glamour:
Montauk Beach House
Friday June 26th
Guest Written by Greg Mania.