Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 85

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jeremy penn
By Alissa Ponchione
Photography by Jeremy Penn

1. At Bar Bordeaux in the
Hotel Carlton in New
York, Penn's "Hot Lips
Explosion" painting of
Bridget Bardot serves as
curtains.

PAINTING BY NUMBERS
A painter's colorful work intersects art
and design

Jeremy Penn never thought his artwork
would be statement pieces in restaurants
and hotels. In fact, he didn't even know if
he'd be an artist. Not feeling prepared to
handle the world outside of art school, Penn
took time off to discover himself-which led
him to his wife, who in turn reinvigorated
his career.
Because Penn's wife, Jessica works
for her family's company the Phillips
Collection (her parents are its owners),
her vast knowledge of the design industry
encouraged Penn to "get back out there
and express myself creatively," he says. But
he didn't see the intersection between his
own paintings and hospitality until he was
approached last year by restaurateur Emil
Stefkov, who owns New York's Olio e Più.
Looking to open a chic, Parisian-inspired
coffee shop in the West Village, Stefkov
commissioned Penn to create a 10-foot

mural of Bridget Bardot in 24-carat gold
as the centerpiece of Whynot Coffee. And
though the large windows looking out onto
busy Christopher Street are more exposure
than he expected, Penn is embracing the
publicity. In fact, he says, "I've made that
coffee shop my own little gallery."
Penn's work is inspired by 1950s and
'60s Parisian culture, but he approaches his
colorful, mixed-media paintings in a designorientated way-applying measurements,
angles, and color trends to his loose, freeform
painting style. In many ways Penn's work is
an amalgamation of the best design trends
with some avant-garde aspects. "I come from
the fine art world, and they are separate but
overlap with design at the same time," he
explains.
Although Penn's pieces are the vibrant
focal points of any room, they don't fit in
every space. "They steal a bit of attention,"
he says. Yet being ostentatious has worked
for him. IndieWalls, a platform that connects

commercial art buyers with local artists,
helped Penn get his paintings featuring
the faces of Kate Moss, Jimi Hendrix, and
Twiggy into the duplex penthouse at the
Trump SoHo New York.
For the Phillips Collection, he's created
a watercolor Buddha printed on metallic
paper and mounted on museum-quality
Plexiglas that gives off a soft, diffused and
reflective image. In addition, his "Hot Lips
Explosion" painting-also of Bardot-was
transformed into curtains that serve as
a partition between Bar Bordeaux and
restaurant Millesime in the Hotel Carlton in
New York.
But Penn wants to do more. "If you go
to TAO in Manhattan, there's a big, gigantic
Buddha in the background. That's the focal
point. My artwork isn't on that scale, but
that's what I'd love to do," he says. "I want to
do something on a grand level." hd
j eremy p enn.com

hospitalitydesign.com March/April 2014

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http://www.jeremypenn.com http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Hospitality Design - March/April 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - March/April 2014

Contents
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Intro
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover1
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 1
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 2
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 3
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 4
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 5
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Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 13
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 14
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Contents
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Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover3
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