Jordy Kerwick (b. 1982, Melbourne, Australia) is a self-taught artist who began his painting career in 2016. Kerwick has quickly acquired global recognition for his bold, raw and unapologetic approach to palette and pattern, executing vivid, expressionistic and highly-stylised compositions.
Domestic objects, predatory animals, and mythical beasts - taxidermy rugs ornamented with geometric markings, double headed king cobras, ferocious fanged tigers, and feather-maned unicorns - populate his figurative canvases and create a contemporary folklore or fable that is playful, kinetic and arcane. Known for his colourful, eclectic still-life paintings, Kerwick's latest body of work explores the fantastical elements and storied visions of the artist's interior imagination where new and unknown terrains collide. Using a variety of materials, from oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, to oil stick and collage on paper, the artist's "the more mistakes, the merrier" approach rejoices in the fortuitous relationships that arise between unexpected combinations of colour, texture, and form.
Kerwick's striking visual language stems largely from his homebody, domestic lifestyle. Art historical references are entangled with ancient iconography. Symbols from Egyptian art combine with tropes from popular culture, such as the bold and electrifying color schemes of comic book series' heroes and villains. Beyond the wondrous pictorial worlds and fantastical figurative characters that repeatedly populate the artist's canvases, Kerwick carefully considers the gestural and the abstract in his nuanced construction of richly tactile, courageously vibrant, and flattened compositions. His fresh, authentic lexicon of shapes and colour absorbs influence from the heavy-weight hitters of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Hard-edge painting, citing Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Agnes Martin, and the modern genius of Henri Matisse as artists who infiltrate his visual impulse.
Recent solo exhibitions include Allouche Benais Gallery, Athens, Greece (2021); Galerie Julie Cadet, Paris, France (2021); Union Gallery, London, England (2021); Pt. 2 Gallery, Oakland, California (2021, 2019); Piermarq*, Sydney, Australia (2020, 2018); Anna Zorina Gallery, New York (2019); a dual show at Masahiro Maki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan and Paris, France (2019); TW Fine Art, Brisbane, Australia (2019); and Delphian Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2018).
Kerwick lives and works in Albi, France.