Jeremy Penn
Vice & Virtue

September 17 - October 24, 2015

Indulge , 2015, gold aluminium, vintage erotica and spray paint on panel, 24 x 50 inches  (inquire)

Indulge, 2015, gold aluminium, vintage erotica and spray paint on panel, 24 x 50 inches (inquire)

From an early age, we are trained to recognize bad behavior. Distinguishing sin is engrained in our psyche from our parents, teachers, and friends. For years, Jeremy has queried the human response to sex through his art, as we believe that sex is taboo, something to be practiced only behind closed doors. The act of sex, if not for reproductive purposes, can be seen as unholy, carnal and inherently bad. The female form is often misperceived as something shameful based simply on presentation or adornation. When did sex, and, in particular the sexual female form, assume sinful undertones?

Of course, the notion that women should behave modestly and be sexually submissive has explicit roots in Christianity. The story of steadfast Adam and lascivious Eve teaches many children from a young age that nudity is shameful, and that experimentation and desire to gain power is sinful. In the 21st century, contradictions towards sex are everywhere. We are confronted with endless images of scantily clad women, but women are shamed when mimicking these representations, for the sake of their modesty. Sex is shown frequently on TV, in movies, in songs, in art; yet teenagers find it difficult to discuss it with their parents. Adverts frequently entice us by using overtly sexual references, yet we don’t dare to attract one another through the same process.

In his new body of work, Jeremy has chosen to blend modernity with pervading sexual attitudes. He has deliberately referenced the bold, brash colors of graffiti – as it’s so often on our street corners and alleyways that we find truth in art; unashamed representations of sex and sin. The viewer is not only confronted with a deliberately thought-provoking word, they’re forced to see themselves as part of the image, through their reflection in the piece itself. They’re forced to acknowledge their own role within the contemporary sexual sphere. After all, each and every person that views these images is part of the society that inspired them. They’re an integral part of the art itself. Upon viewing, examine not only the art itself, but also your response to it. It may reveal more about your own attitudes to sexuality than you realize.