Spotlight Painter Jack Penny
Jordan says: “The energy in his work just awakened something in me, his vibrant colours and evocative scenes, it felt fresh, impulsive and spirited. Eventually, after much scrolling and limitless liking, I bought a piece last year, ‘Figure in Pink’. I love the mood, the experimentation, the movement, the allure. I love that there are different roads to go down, it’s playful and it keeps me on my toes.”
Penny’s creative practice is motivated by a search for authenticity. He is driven by capturing a real sense of humanity within his work. His largely improvised and haphazard figurative paintings question the sustainability of modern society and the nine-to-five hustle, and take inspiration from the spontaneity of de Kooning, the palette of Diebenkorn, the vulnerability of Baselitz, the vitality of Nick Cave and the subject matter and art that comes from somewhere slightly uncomfortable; such as Louise Bourgeois or Pervis Young.
“There is an abstract approach to my figurative paintings where I let them take over and lead the way, I’m led by a fascination in the ways paint can go. I see myself as less of a painter and more of an image maker, as my work is explosive and direct. My latest paintings are a bit more organised, and I’m working on larger canvases that are more detailed, but I like there to be a moment of high risk, where I could have lost control but just manage to get away with it. Seeing issues resolved and a final piece made out of potential catastrophe – an odd colour, something that throws the composition — that’s exciting. I always say the painting has to take its own route. I’m greedy as a painter, I want to enjoy the process and see where it can go.”
Penny is currently working on a solo show with SEAM Agency, which was originally scheduled to open on 1 May but has been postponed as he wanted to add another large painting. This will be his first show in England since 2017. He says: “Since then my other solo shows have been in Hong Kong and Berlin, so it’s exciting to come back to England this summer.”
About the champion
Zoë Jordan’s rise to leading contemporary womenswear designer is not your usual story. She studied architecture and worked as a bond trader in New York before putting her fresh spin and objective view on what women want to wear. She launched her eponymous brand in London in 2011 and focuses on clean lines, fresh palettes and boyish elegance. Its combination of natural confidence and wit, and melding the androgynous with the feminine, also helped it to be shortlisted for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fund.