Jordy Kerwick: I Want You To Remember This
— The Arts Club, London

Installation view: Jordy Kerwick: I Want You To Remember This, The Arts Club, London. Image: Kate Elliott.


Installation view: Jordy Kerwick: I Want You To Remember This, The Arts Club, London. Image: Kate Elliott.

I Want You to Remember This presents a series of previously unseen, large-scale paintings illustrating Australian artist Jordy Kerwick’s vibrant folkloric narratives and mythical cast of characters. Kerwick began his career in 2016, selling his first works via Instagram, from where he quickly acquired global recognition for his raw and unapologetic approach to painting. Marking a major moment for the artist in London, the exhibition coincides with his exhibit Vertical Plane Me (2022) at Frieze Sculpture 2022 and a solo show at Vigo Gallery in October.

Born in Melbourne, Kerwick currently lives and works in the South of France. Following a series of rough starts in business, Kerwick began making art as a stress reliever, becoming obsessed with it after his wife introduced him to painting. Self-taught and highly unique, since then he has gained a strong collector base, leading Artsy to identify him as the second most in-demand artist worldwide in September 2021.

I Want You to Remember This sees the return of Kerwick’s folkloric characters, including unicorns, tigers, snakes and mermaids, as well as motifs of masks, native feather arrangements and flowers, developed over the course of his artistic career. Duality is a recurring theme in his work, with paintings like Untitled (2022) depicting three different double-headed beings holding council. Some, such as the two-headed snake character, first evolved as an allusion to Kerwick’s sons as an embodiment of youth. Read accordingly, the two-headed wolf, a sharp-toothed allusion to mortality and death, barricades this symbol of life. The tension between these two figures becomes overt in You swing and you swing and you swing (2022), with the characters positioned in confrontational opposition. Splitting the background – the bottom half filled with flame-like oranges, reds and yellows, while the top is shaded with heavenly blues and lilacs – the battle plays out in a kind of purgatory of wills.

Using whimsical icons that resemble characters found in children’s storybooks, Kerwick creates a playful push and pull of conflict between wonder, fear, life, death, goodness and evil, inviting the viewer to step into an alternate, illustrative world underpinned by existential contemplation.

The Arts Club exhibitions are curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes of Wedel Art. The Arts Club and Wedel Art are grateful to the artist and Vigo Gallery for their collaboration.

Creative Boom: Instagram Hit Jordy Kerwick draws on myths and folklore in his raw and bold paintings