Evan Penny’s sculptures confront the viewer with something beyond realism. His profound skill as a sculptor, his innovative developments with silicone as a medium, and his uncanny ability to distort reality result in disturbingly arresting works that seem both impossible and hyper-real.
Penny’s home, in contrast, celebrates traditional craft work and folk/outsider art. Looking at the collections he displays (tramp art, memory ware, prison art, and pieces made of bottle caps, tin cans, peach pits, and beaded safety pins), you can clearly see the hand of the artist at work, as well as the nature of the material. However, the pieces also carry a repetitive and obsessive quality that is reflected in Penny’s own sculptures. I appreciate his open-mindedness about what is worthy of display, evidenced by his showcasing of objects such as 1930s balloon tire bicycles alongside contemporary and folk art.
He renovated the two-story semi himself, salvaging stained-glass windows to great effect and recreating the original linoleum kitchen floor (after a plumbing disaster caused water damage). What makes the spaces in his home work so well is a consistent attention to detail, the beauty he finds in his collected objects, and the cohesive texture of work done well, whether craft or art.