Born in South Africa in 1953. Lives and works in Toronto.
Evan Penny’s uncanny, lifelike figurative sculptures test the limits of human optics in their experimentation with depth, scale, blurring and other often digitally manipulable phenomena. Penny was born in South Africa, trained in Alberta, and has lived and worked in Toronto for many years. In the 1980s, he became known for his hyperrealist renderings of life models in resin, done smaller-than-life-sized, with incredible accuracy. Following this, Penny was scouted by the film industry, working in special-effects departments on Hollywood movies through the early 1990s. This marked a period of abstract experimentation in his practice, but by the late 1990s and early 2000s he had returned to the figure, using digital rendering to question the nature of how we look at ourselves and others. Penny has shown internationally since the 1980s; a touring exhibition of the 2000-to-2011 period of his career went to Germany, Austria, Italy and Canada.
Photo of Evan Penny with his sculpture Old Self: Portrait of the Artist as He Will (Not) Be #1, Variation of 4 (2010) © Evan Penny 2012