Jill Penney’s Low-brow Art

Arizona’s Jill Penney (scroll way down that page) is a pop surrealist doll artist who makes polymer clay dolls that are part punk, part comic book, part anime, slightly deviant…what’s being called low-brow art.

The style has roots in tatoos and graffiti and is wildly popular on the west coast. When a pop surrealist gallery opened up in our midwest town with Penney’s dolls, I went to see what I could learn.

The craftsmanship in Penney’s dolls is impressive and her aesthetic fits perfectly in this gallery of like-minded artists. Her sassy waif-like dolls beg to be played with but their pricetags place them well beyond toy status. The blending of toys and art takes a bit of getting used to. Several serious young collectors were comparing their pricey acquisitions. The buzz reminded me of the early days of outsider art. It’s nice to see fine polymer clay art in the middle of this growing genre.

  • reply Polymer Clay Notes » the cutting board club: polymer clay ,

    […] [Update 1/22/08:  Check out what Cynthia Tinapple says about Penney and Torrente’s work in this post.] […]

    • reply catherine verdiere ,

      thanks for this great article Cynthia.I never heard about low-brow art before, and i relished looking at every doll -and torrente’s pictures too. Their work is really good and I love the style.

      • reply scott k. ,

        Glad you got a chance to stop in and see Jill’s work, and thanks for the nice review. Jill is an excellent young artist and together with Daniel they make quite a pair. We were proud to get a chance to expose Jill’s craftsmanship in both polymer and plush at to Columbus through the gallery. Her progression as a young artist coming into her own has been exciting to watch.

        Scott K.

        1200 N. High St.
        Columbus, OH 43201

        • reply Melissa ,

          i recently discovered jills toys searching for a lion plush..i have been looking every where for one.. and i knew when seen it i would just know that is the one i want.. there is a coustom piece of her work with a lion named vicious.. i am desprate to contact her about this coustom piece.. if anyone could help me with her contact info it would be greatly appreciated…

          e-mail: sharbop_23@yahoo.com


          • reply Jill Penney’s Polymer Clay and Plush Creatures | ToyCyte: Toy Culture Collected ,

            […] on Vinyl Pulse in 2005, and she got a nod earlier this year on one of my new gotta-read sites, Polymer Clay Daily. Of course I had to post Jill’s bat (above), as this week is beyond batty with nocturnal […]

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