Interview with Jeremy Penn
Brooklyn based modern artist Jeremy Penn has left the city for the summer and will be The Montauk Beach House’s residence artist through the end of July. His work has been internationally exhibited, received honors from The MoMA and The Met, and in 2011 he was selected to represent the United States at the global art exhibition Rosafest. The subject of his works are commonly pop culture figures with an intense focus on the eyes, creating a seductive power play between the art and viewer. Hamptons Monthly recently got to talk with Jeremy about the new collection and working at the Beach House for the summer.
What exactly does it mean to be the resident artist?
To be the resident artist, means to draw (pun intended) inspiration from the environment surrounding the Montauk Beach House.
Montauk is a bit different than working out of Brooklyn! What inspired you to leave the city and take on this project?
The polarization of the man-made glam of New York City and the natural ethos of the East End was something I was excited to explore. It is important to shake things up every now and then.
What about your artistry style fits in with or complements the décor already in place at the well known Beach House?
I wouldn’t say my art fits in nor does it compliment the serene aesthetic of the Beach House. My paintings are bold & demand the eyes attention. People buy my work because they want work that screams off the walls. The staff at the Beach House couldn’t be any better to work with. They empower me to explore and express my vision.
The work in this series reflects your interpretation of Montauk, how would you sum up what that vision is?
Montauk is a mystical place. I grew up on the beaches of Long Island so it is a familiar environment to me. Everything from the way the water washes up on the sand to the surreal neon gradient sunsets, I knew I wanted to capture these natural occurrences in my work. For me, it isn’t about painting a beach scene; it is about emulating the scene. For example, I formulated my own paint to the consistency of water and poured it across the canvas as if it were the ocean washing up on the beach.
In what ways have you noticed the new environment influencing your craft?
I have lived in NYC for the past 15 years and the urban aesthetic has been a major influence in my art. Working out in Montauk has given me a chance to be inspired by an environment that first shaped who I was as an artist.
Tell us a little about the “Hot Lips” tanks that are available for purchase at the The Shop.
“Hot Lips,” which features Brigitte Bardot giving her iconic pout, is the ultimate image of seduction. She is a recurring figure in my work because her influence in popular culture helped empower women to explore & embrace their sensuality. Bardot’s ability to render a man weak with her hypnotic gaze and seductive lips is power. The tanks are available for $65 and the men’s tees for $75 at Poolside Collective on the property.
In addition to the “le séduction de glamour collection” featured, you’ll also be working live painting a mural on the poolside wall. Did you approach this with a clear vision or a more organic mindset?
It is gonna get interesting when I paint live at the Beach House. I have nothing planned and that’s how I prefer it. People will see this mural develop with a pure instinctual approach. Maybe I will even get spectators involved in some way. Fun things evolve when you approach things this way.
What’s it like having people watch you create? How does it compare to how you usually work?
For me, the painting process is an intimate journey. Recently, I have opened the doors to my studio to allow people to share in my experience. I love to talk about the work and provide a unique perspective into the work from the artist himself.