Todd Pendu is a multi-disciplinary artist and image-maker currently living and working in NYC and Los Angeles. PENDV JOURNAL is a platform for his creative projects and art/photographic works. He is the Founder/Creative Director of PENDV MEDIA. He is also co-Creative Director at ZANA BAYNE.
Email: studio @ toddpendu . com
By Todd Pendu (Current)
– PENDV JOURNAL: Images and Projects including exclusives from his nude erotic and fetish photo work.
– PENDV DESIGNS: Apparel, accessories, totes, and swimwear.
– In The Works: A book of photography entitled “Fishnets And Leather”.
Past Projects include:
– PENDV Presents + PENDV Gallery – Curated Events + Art Gallery.
– PENDV Sound Recordings – Independent Record Label
– Ekstatic Vision (Online Magazine)
Todd Pendu’s photography primarily focuses on nudes and erotic and fetish subjects; however he has lensed fashion campaigns for Zana Bayne and Marc Jacobs… His work has been published in Vogue, Purple, S Mag, Juxtapoz, Mixt(e), Bullett, Galore, Creem,… He has photographed notables including Miley Cyrus, Paz de la Huerta, Kat Graham, Scout Willis and Tallulah Willis, Sophie Tweed-Simmons,…
Nudity and sexuality are constant themes in Todd Pendu’s photography and artwork as he sees these as part of his libertine world-view and the “ultimate expressions of freedom”. Known for his raw but sensual and provocative work, he takes an improvisational approach to capturing spontaneous, visceral, and intimate images.
Todd Pendu’s interests include a heady brew of mixed and remixed past and present Pop and Underground Culture, Eroticism and Pornography, Alchemy, 19th and 20th century Occultism and Philosophy, Art from the Mannerists to the Surrealists and beyond, Fashion History and Photography, and Bass Music, Techno, and Rock-n-Roll.
The moniker PENDV is used to unify Todd Pendu’s diverse artistic activities and works. ‘PENDV’ is a stylization of the french word ‘Le Pendu’ meaning ‘Hanged’ taken the Tarot card known in English as ‘The Hanged-Man’. The ‘Cross and Triangle’ logo of PENDV is derived from the alchemical symbol of Sulphur inverted which is interpreted as the achievement of the ‘Magnum Opus’ of the alchemist. PENDV is also a direct reference to both Marcel Duchamp’s ‘pendu femelle’ found in his Large Glass as well as from the suicide by hanging of 19th century mystic/poet Gérard de Nerval, lauded by Andre Breton and important to the development of the surrealism.
PENDV began as a Curatorial Projects company by Todd Pendu but evolved into a Creative Projects company and Brand. It is essentially a concept, a germ for culture-creation; it’s an idea capable of being manifested in a variety of ways while staying true to its original premise and intention – spreading the message, “Invert Your Perspective To Reinvent Your World”. Whether shooting photographs or organizing parties or curating music festivals or releasing records or designing products or graphics; these are just individual parts towards a sum total; creating a gesamtkunstwerk, a complete aesthetic in fully realized environments. PENDV is about perverting, inverting, styling and stylizing everything. It’s about bringing this special vision to each new project and stamping the work with its unique viewpoint. READ MORE on The occult origins and philosophy of PENDV here.
In his own words: “I grew up in Fort Myers on the Gulf Coast of South Florida. The small town has a notorious past and many know it as the infamous home of the ‘Lords Of Chaos’; far from the world of fashion, art, and culture. After graduating high school in 1992, I traveled to Europe which profoundly inspired me. After returning, I started college but lasted only a semester and a half before being kicked out. I then found myself spiraling down through a series of events that led to living on the streets of Atlanta for quite some time in the early 1990’s. I became caught up in hardcore drugs, panhandling and squatting as a homeless punk. When I found my way back to Fort Myers, I continued crashing on couches at the homes of various friends. It was during this period that I started my first punk/hardcore band and co-founded FYBY (For Youth By Youth) to promote and curate shows by local as well as touring bands. Although FYBY was short-lived, I continued throughout the mid to late 90’s both playing in bands and also booking bands. The Florida Hardcore scene instilled a deep ethic in art-making as a lifestyle – where everything from taking photos, to making event flyers, to creating personal zines and producing collages became everyday activities. This initial DIY connection to producing artworks set the foundations for all of my projects to follow. Without a formal education and living in a pre-internet world, I used bookstores to study art, photography, fashion, philosophy, the occult, and poetry/literature to satisfy my academic pursuits. I published a book in 2001 of original conceptual-based aleatory poems called “Analekta: Semantic Texts”. My infatuation especially with the subjects of eroticism and the occult has nearly always found its way into my work in some form. Throughout the 90’s I eyed the fashion world from afar through magazines, VHS, and TV. I never imagined that I would ever have the chance to make it a part of my real life. In 2003, I moved to Brooklyn, New York and came up through the underground music and art scenes as a DJ and experimental electronic musician and curator. As I became known more and more for my activities under the PENDV moniker, people began referring to me as Todd Pendu and the nickname has remained.
Taking pictures has just been something I have always done. I can’t remember many times throughout my life where a camera hasn’t been in my hand. However, I don’t really consider myself a proper photographer since I have never really cared about technical aspects of the camera and I am interested in other fields of image-making. I have always been more of an artist who has used various mediums to carry out my ideas or create my images. I prefer using intuitive, adhocist and low-tech approaches to making my work. Collage and graphic design have both also been fields I have consistently worked in. I have also inevitably worked as an art director, creative director, and stylist on various projects. People love to give you one name, but instead of being called a photographer; I prefer to simply be thought of as an image-maker.”
HISTORY OF PENDV MEDIA (1999 – present)
Todd Pendu founded THE DAEDALUS COLLECTIVE/TRANSITION MEDIA in 1999 becoming PENDV MEDIA in 2005 as a curatorial project, an online art gallery that also promoted underground music, image and design. It was created to support his own work as well as close friends and curated artists and musicians. He began releasing albums of noise music initially under TRANSITION MEDIA RECORDS (TMR) until 2005 continuing on using the moniker PENDV SOUND RECORDINGS. By 2008 he also began curating shows and art events as well as creating the annual NY EYE & EAR FESTIVAL. In 2010 he began the 2-year run of the influential electronic music driven PENDV DISCO dance parties in NYC. These projects and events garnered praise from revered outlets including the Village Voice and The New York Times and simultaneously attracted the art and fashion world to his own work and personal style. He has been shot by notable photographers including Andres Serrano, David Sims for Love Magazine, and Michael Halsband (known for his iconic images of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Klaus Nomi).
From 2008 – 2012, Todd Pendu was simultaneously running the record label PENDV SOUND RECORDINGS (Chelsea Wolfe, aTelecine feat. Sasha Grey) while also hosting visual art shows in a narrow Brooklyn Apartment hallway known as PENDV GALLERY, DJing parties, performing in experimental music/noise projects (Mialessot, Ghost Moth with NYC Free Jazz legend Daniel Carter, and Chaos Majik), as well as throwing forward-thinking parties and live music events. He worked in the darkness of disparate Brooklyn basements and bars and illegal venues filled with cigarette smoke and fog with the emanating cacophony of synthesizers, drum machines, guitars, and feedback. His shows were based on the concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones and each show was part ”art installation” / part ”live music event” / part ”party”; incorporating sounds and visuals which were high on atmospherics and immersive environments using various effects, strobes and special lighting, and notoriously copious amounts of fog. He sometimes amusingly referred to himself as “The Fog King” which led him to coining the term “Fog Music” aka “Alternative Club Music” to replace the ‘in vogue’ term “Witch House” which he never ascribed to. He DJ’d most PENDV DISCO parties and was regularly invited as a DJ around the world from Milan to LA to Austin’s SXSW to his home turf of NYC. Todd Pendu brought together eclectic groups of people from different backgrounds… punks, noisers, electronic music fans, art crowds, downtowners, fashionistas, and so on. From the beginning, he was taking cues and inspiration from the early days of CBGB’s, Dischord Records as well as the “Factories” of both Tony Wilson and Andy Warhol combined with the libertine spirit of Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt, Bob Guccione, and Al Goldstein, and the proto-Chaos Magick art and writings of Austin Osman Spare.
PENDV created and curated the NY EYE & EAR FESTIVAL in 2008 which ran for 3 consecutive years featuring performances from over 100 NYC-based bands as well as involvement from over 50 NYC-based record labels. In January 2010, he began PENDV DISCO. The party was an instant success from its inaugural show and brought out the likes of Michael Stipe (REM) and renowned artist Terence Koh. During its two-year run, the party hosted over 50 events featuring performances from SALEM, Wolf Eyes, Black Dice, Light Asylum, the legendary Black Devil Disco Club (France), and a hundred more. During this time, PENDV SOUND RECORDINGS put out ex-porn-star Sasha Grey’s musical project ATelecine and the first two critically-acclaimed albums of Chelsea Wolfe along with the first EP of Liza Thorn’s band Starred, the first full-length from L.A. duo Von Haze, and digital singles from Azar Swan and Tempers.
His work in fashion came along as he was developing artists on his record label PENDV SOUND RECORDINGS. In 2011 he produced a photoshoot for Chelsea Wolfe under his creative direction showcasing her in pieces by avant-garde designer Iris van Herpen and others. The images landed premiers online with i-D Magazine and Interview Magazine which in turn led to working on more photoshoots. Connecting musicians to stylists and photographers led to picking up the camera himself and beginning to work directly with editors, models, showrooms, and fashion designers.
In 2012, he began collaborating with designer Zana Bayne on a capsule collection of leather accessories based on the PENDV logo. The co-branded, co-designed PENDV x ZANA BAYNE 12-piece Capsule Collection was finally unveiled in a presentation hosted by Opening Ceremony at the Superpier in September 2013 as part of New York Fashion Week featuring models as well as voguers from the legendary House of Ninja. In 2014, he became co-Creative Director of the brand.
PenduNYC.com was redesigned and relaunched on July 30 2013 as PENDV JOURNAL with an emphasis on Todd Pendu’s nude and erotic photography as well as his eclectic creative projects. The first photoshoot for the site featured twelve nude girls with empowering occult sigils drawn on their bodies on the roof of NYC building. Sex and Magick, a perfect combination for new beginnings.