To some money symbolises importance and power, while to others it’s the root of all evil. Irrespective of what you think about it, its use in art projects a powerful message. Penny (aka Jim Penfold) considers money to be the ‘omnipresent voyeur’ and is just as interested in the message it carries as he is in its use as a medium for great art. His unique take is that pound notes lend themselves more to slapstick art whilst dollar bills feature some of his more serious works.
But there’s no risk of him being pigeon holed as a one trick pony as his art is so diverse that this almost feels like a one man group show covering intricate stencils, ink drawings and dead butterflies superimposed on portraits.
Penny provided us with some insight into his methods – two of his larger canvases took nine months of hard work to come to fruition. To keep himself focussed while working on this intricate task, he downloaded and listened to a full set of university lectures on both physics and geopolitics.
His street art background is evident in his use of stencils but he moved away from this as he professes that he didn’t like damaging other people’s property. To cement his all round nice guy status, he insisted on giving us a full tour of the exhibition even when family members were vying for his time.
Penny is an artist whose work is very different from anybody else out there and he clearly has mass appeal, with the vast majority of his work having been sold before the show. He’s definitely a rising star to keep an eye on.
Penny: Economy of Scale is on display at Rook & Raven, 7 Rathbone Place, W1T until 23 June. Entrance is free.