Anyone that has an intimate knowledge and appreciation for the fashion world is a friend of ours (or, rather, someone we want to meet), so when we came across contemporary artist Jeremy Penn’s work (that’s him above), we knew we needed to learn more. Penn, a Brooklyn-based creative that trained at both the University of Maryland and Pratt Institute, creates eye-poppingly seductive paintings of big names like Diane von Furstenberg and Kate Moss, and style icons like Brigitte Bardot, whom he became fascinated with after seeing Le fils de Caroline chérie. “When I watched my first Bardot film I felt I was watching the first female superhero,” he shares during an interview with us.
The first thing you’ll notice about Penn’s work, aside from the prominent use of the color blue, is the emphasis he places on his subjects’ eyes — it’s almost eerie. And he does it intentionally. “Eyes hold an incredible amount of power,” he says, when asked about the amount of attention he places on them. “They never lie and they are always waging war.”
And if you find his technique to be reminiscent of Any Warhol’s, you’re not alone. Refinery29 once referred to Penn as “fashion’s Andy Warhol x Richard Phillips hybrid.” (Pretty awesome compliment if you ask us!) The cool thing about Penn is that he’s not intimidated by that kind of comparison, either. “I think Andy was a deep cerebral person that broke down walls and challenged the status quo — something that was very needed at that time — I focus all my cerebral energy into researching my subjects and bringing them to life,” he notes. “I hear the comparison a lot, and while the use of iconic people as subjects is similar, our methodologies are very different.”
You can check out some of Penn’s work below, or head over to his website for more. Be sure to watch the video below to see the guy in action, though. It’s a real treat.