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Jeremy Penn

New York-based modern artist Jeremy Penn, was born in 1979 in New York City and studied

Fine Art at both the University of Maryland and Pratt Institute. His works have been exhibited

internationally and received honors from curators at museums such as The Museum of Modern

Art, New York and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Penn's work is prized within

some of the most prestigious modern art collections in the world. In 2014, Refinery29 referred

to Penn as an "Andy Warhol x Richard Phillips Hybrid."

About The Series

From an early age, we are trained to recognize bad behavior. Distinguishing sin is ingrained in

our psyche from our parents, teachers, and friends. For years, Jeremy has queried the human

response to sex through his artwork as we believe that sex is a taboo, something to be

practiced only behind closed doors. The act of sex, if not for reproductive purposes, is seen as

unholy, carnal and inherently bad. The female form is often misperceived as something

shameful based simply on presentation or adorning specific clothing. When did sex, and in

particular the sexual female form, become inherently sinful?

Of course, the notion that women should behave modestly and be sexually submissive has

explicit roots in religion. 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 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 Vice & Virtue, Penn chose 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.