Jordy Kerwick doesn’t have to worry about being forgotten. His colourful, highly unique paintings have taken the art world by storm since he launched his career in 2016 when he started selling his art via Instagram. This soon led to him gaining worldwide recognition for his candid, unique art, which borrows imagery from folklore, books, music and his personal life.
I Want You To Remember This – on view at The Arts Club until February 2023 – follows closely on Jordy’s solo show Vertical Plane Me, which recently featured at Vigo Gallery. According to The Arts Club, this new exhibition marks a “big moment” for the artist in London as he continues to capture public attention.
Considering where Jordy comes from professionally, his meteoric rise feels all the sweeter. “I’ve had a few rough starts in the business, which have been difficult, but the situation has also pushed me to try new things that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise – one of which was painting,” he tells Creative Boom.
“I didn’t know much about art at the time, but my wife helped me see crafting as a way to deal with stress. I got really obsessed with it, painting almost every day and have been obsessed with it ever since. I am grateful that something positive has developed from a professional low point that I can continue to explore with a lot of fun.”
Populated by strange creatures such as two-headed women, unicorns, and wolf-headed snakes, the world of Jordy’s art is steeped in mythology filtered through his vivid, primary-color-infused perspective. He explains that this look is not forced but a natural fruit of his creative interests.
“I’ve always been a fan of storytelling and was inspired by how writers create narratives. Folklore is the traditional way of storytelling, drawing on distinctive characters and symbolism to tell tales of good and evil, life and death, and fear and bravery. In that sense, my work leans towards these folkloric traits.”
He adds, “My two sons are also a huge inspiration for many of the mythical characters I create. They show me monsters or fantastical creatures that come to mind while playing, and their creative freedom reminds me not to overthink my own art too much.”
In addition to folklore and his family, Jordy draws inspiration from writers such as Bukowski, and artists such as Robert Motherwell, Bob Thompson, Helen Frankenthaler, and Agnes Martin. “I also look up to Fabrizio Biviano a lot. He’s an Australian artist who I’ve been a fan of for a while, and of course Henri Matisse – Matisse is always there for me, from the way he draws female figures to his use of primary colors. He is the best.”
Each stage of an artist’s career has its associated challenges. Now that Jordy is attracting attention with his artwork, like the paintings in I Want You To Remember This, has the activity he turned to for stress relief itself become a source of stress?
“It’s a bit different now because I’m fortunate enough to have a demand for my work, so in a way there’s a pressure to create something that wasn’t there before,” he reveals.
“However, painting will always be a stress reliever for me. It will always be a way of expressing myself, no matter what mood I’m in, and I can’t imagine that ever changing.”
I Want You To Remember This, curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes von Wedel Art, is on view at The Arts Club from now until February 2023.
Aurore Ankarcrona Hennessey, Director of Art at The Arts Club, adds: “Jordy’s stunning works are the perfect way to inaugurate our new Ofelia Members’ Lounge, with his fresh and adventurous vision marking the beginning of a new chapter for the club itself reflects. Walking the line between playful and menacing, his otherworldly images must be seen up close.”