Melbourne born Jordan “Jordy” Kerwick has rapidly gained international attention for his striking and bold approach to colour and pattern, producing highly graphic imagery onto canvas. Interior scenes, still lifes, teeth-baring animals and mythical creatures are paired with patterned rugs, wild wallpaper, lyrics, and even cigarettes, creating a unique narrative.
Jordy Kerwick quickly found his calling as an artist after experimenting with painting garden pots in his Melbourne courtyard in 2016. With his first solo show held in Melbourne at Lindberg Galleries, still lifes quickly became his trademark subject. Using sand as a key ingredient to his primer, Kerwick achieves a gritty, thick impasto which serves as the base to his skeletal-like flowers, often bursting out of quirky patterned pots and alongside stacked books and the odd cigarette. His ability to take what appears so universally domestic and innocent and strip the beauty back to a raw aesthetic is what has developed Kerwick’s vast fan base. His more recent works look at predatory animals, specifically tigers, alongside domestic objects to create a vibrant, expressionist, and playful composition.
Kerwick’s visual inspirations are vast. Contemporary counterparts such as Andrew Salgado, Adam Lee, Rhys Lee and Wolfgang Vogel have all had a profound impact on Kerwick’s works, using similar colour vibrancy, layered imagery, mark making and use of lyrics, these characteristics can be seen across his practice and now credited as a defining characteristic in his oeuvre.
Jordy Kerwick’s paintings are now seen in major galleries and auction houses spanning across New York, Berlin, London and now Australia. Kerwick’s rise was cemented on the secondary market when his oil on paper work of a lion attacking a two-headed beast sold for €17,000 at Sotheby’s in London. As a measure of his expanding market, this record only lasted a day, with Phillips auctioning a still life piece Cool Cats 2019 selling for €82,353 before their New York outpost offered Le Tigre achieving a staggering US$220,000. To see a self-taught artist rise with such market vigour in a short period of time is a rare occurrence in today’s market where talent and competition is fierce. Leonard Joel was honoured to be the first Australian auction house to present a work by Jordy Kerwick for major public auction and to present three further unique works as lots 9-11 in this auction.
LUCY FOSTER / Senior Art Specialist
Banner Image: JORDY KERWICK (born 1982) Still Life with Books 2019, oil, synthetic polymer paint and collage on canvas, 76 x 60.5cm | $30,000-40,000