Jordan Kerwick is a self-taught Australian artist. Kerwick’s dense impasto brushstrokes flatten the perception of space; instead it is his thick application of paint that offers dimension and texture. He explores the relationship between thick patches of color and form while incorporating recurring elements of iconography such as contours of palm trees and anchors as a means of fusing painting and sketching. These intuitive and enticingly tactile marks celebrate artists’ role of investigating the inherent potential of his chosen media of oil paint.
Read further below as we catch up with Kerwick to learn more about his technique, what inspires him most, and what’s next on his agenda.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what brought you into the art world?
“I’m a 36 year old from Melbourne, Australia, who has recently packed his little family up (married to a Goddess - also a painter - and have two outstanding sons, Sonny - 5, and Milo - 2) and have moved to Albi, a town 45 minutes east of Toulouse. Our French is sub-amateur but we try our best and we are stoked to be doing something a little different. I got into the art world off the back of collecting art. We ran out of money and work at the time was pretty stressful, so my wife bought me some paints as a stress relief, and the rest is history. I’ve painted or drawn everyday since. Its turned into an obsession.”
“My works are quite reflective of me as a person. I switch between abstract and figurative - figurative generally being inspired from life at home with a young family. The abstract work is more about me. They share common traits though - all rough and raw and very unrefined. The more mistakes, the merrier. They add life to a painting and make them interesting and real.”
What materials you do you use?
“I use heaps of mediums - keeps it interesting and varies results. Water based enamel, acrylic, oil stick, oil, house paint, airbrush, graphite, charcoal and canvas collage. I like to make lots of texture.”
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your work / what inspires you most?
“I draw inspiration from family, literature, music and cities (mainly LA - could spend months there making drawings to turn into big paintings). Ill often hear a sentence or a line from a song and it will provide plenty of ammunition to get a painting moving in a particular direction. I think also because I’m around my boys most of the time, their drawings and scribbles really inspire me a lot. I’m obsessed with the palm trees that line the streets that line the streets of LA, as well as the general gritty and lively feel.”
Where were your most memorable exhibitions? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions that you would like to share?
This is a tough question, as I am eternally grateful for any opportunity that I get. Ill never take it for granted that (some) people enjoy my work and make the time to look/buy it. I had an solo exhibition recently at Pt 2 Gallery in Oakland, California. It was a brilliant holistic experience as I got to spend some time with the gallery owner, as well as meet some artists that I really respect. I also had a little show in Paris with a very dear friend from Portugal (Francisco Moreira) in Paris at Gallerie 42B which was special as we both got our families involved, which was lovely. Honestly, there have been too many brilliant experiences to list.
I’ve got a few group exhibitions in Munich, Cologne, Sydney and Copenhagen, a two person show with my wife in Portugal with Andenken which I’m really excited about, and solo in Cologne too. I’m also finessing a concept for a solo in NYC and a Museum show in Denmark - working on some broader ideas about arbitrary worship and spirituality, which ha s been a very interesting project. I’ve had to branch out and work with other skilled trades in an attempt to execute my vision, which has been fun.