Updated: Dec 15, 2022
5' ELEVEN'' popped by Jordy Kerwick’s Preview this month hosted at The Arts Club, Mayfair in conjunction with VIGO GALLERY. Kerwick is a multidisciplinary, Aussie-born artist internationally recognised for his folkloric, colourful paintings inspired by literature and music. The show titled, ‘I Want You To Remember This,’ is curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes of Wedel Art.
Words by Isabel Froemming. Photos by Kate Elliott.
First off, do you have a favourite piece from the preview tonight? What inspired the show title, ‘I Want You to Remember This’?
Always hard to pick a favourite from a collection, particularly when you’re quite critical of your own work. That being said, I’m kind of happy with the Wolf - Tiger - Human hybrid sitting above the fireplace. The title comes from a dark-ish place, though more reflective of a moment than an ongoing feeling.
Past interviews suggest you draw inspiration from family, predominantly your wife and children. Does your interest in the arts precede your days as a father and husband?
I’ve always been interested in the creative arts. This passion roots itself in music, as I used to DJ a lot and have fostered an appreciation for reading and the visual arts overtime. Yet, I didn’t practise painting myself until my wife encouraged me back in 2016. Around that time, I was a salesman experiencing a difficult time in business. At this low point, my partner introduced me to painting as a mode of stress relief. I became engrossed and started channelling all my energies into art.
From children’s books to Machine Gun Kelly, how does your vision translate to the canvas? Do you have a go-to artist you listen to when painting?
I don’t particularly have a go-to artist when painting. When I enter the studio, I flip on some music that matches my mood and get started. I have a lot of musical influences across various genres, from Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin to the Rolling Stones, whose songs have definitely influenced my mindset whilst creating.
"Honestly, they all serve a purpose and I enjoy them all. One doesn’t really work without the other, so the harmony they achieve when the painting is done makes them all of equal importance. I’m self-taught, making me not a traditional expert at utilising any one particular medium with which to begin."
How would you define your audience? Do buyers fit a prescribed identity?
My audience is pretty varied. Initially, I was mostly selling to interior designers. As my Instagram following and recognition expanded, I’ve been fortunate to reach a wide range of collectors across both industries and borders.
What is your favourite material to work with - from the acrylic to airbrush techniques found in your range of works?
Honestly, they all serve a purpose and I enjoy them all. One doesn’t really work without the other, so the harmony they achieve when the painting is done makes them all of equal importance. I’m self-taught, making me not a traditional expert at utilising any one particular medium with which to begin.
As an Aussie outposted in the South of France, with shows all around the world, where is your favourite place to exhibit?
I am hugely appreciative of being given the opportunity to have shown in many amazing places, but, for me, it’s hard to surpass Paris. The city means so much to me on so many levels, both speaking in relation to art and otherwise. Paris is stunning and huge and dirty and, sometimes, smells pretty awful. The city just feels like a real and honest place to exhibit work.
Is all of your work completed in the studio, or do you travel with essential supplies on the go?
A lot of my work is completed in the studio, where I live in France. My essentials include a palette knife, white paint, and a lot of overused paintbrushes at all times.
What are you most looking forward to in the year to come?
Rolling out some new projects, not painting related, and seeing how well I can pull the broader show-experience off. Hopefully it’s great… but there is plenty of room to get it very wrong.
I Want You to Remember This by Jordy Kerwick is showing at The Arts Club until the 6th of February 2023. For more information click here.