维刻艺术003 | 为伊丽莎白二世画像的世上最年轻画家Christian Furr
A recent Interview about Furr’s Queen portrait in Country and Town Magazine

CHRISTIAN FURR 2016

‘In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors. ‘

– William Blake

Christian Furr won recognition of his enormous talent early in his career. At just 28 he was the youngest artist commissioned to paint an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, personally selected from among dozens of other painters. As is typical of Christian, he approached the project with a unique point of view, showing both the regal and human qualities of Her Majesty.

During his early career while Furr was highly sought after for his portrait commissions, the superbly talented painter simultaneously followed the strong tradition of representation in British modern and contemporary art throughout his oeuvre. Today Christian focuses on keeping oil paint a fresh contemporary medium, and is continually interested in experimentation and exploration of new concepts. Like an earlier generation that included Lucien Freud and David Hockney, Christian examines everyday objects and human emotional connections with equal interest, looking to reach the essential nature of his chosen subject, be it a member of the royal family, an enigmatic couple, a flower, a still-life or a measure of cheese.

Known as a colourist and a consummate paint-handler, Christian’s influences are remarkably diverse. Apart from the visual arts, music and literature are integral; he is a voracious reader, an omnivorous listener. Inspiration arrives from many directions – a fragment of Rumi poetry, a lyric from The Doors, a quote from Bukowski, William Blake sonnets, the film Zabriskie Point by Antonioni. The symbols of his far-reaching interests find their way into his work, sometimes overtly, sometimes submerged.

Over the years Furr’s desire to broaden his artistic language has led to well-received collaborations with other artists, including neon-artist Chris Bracey. It was while working with Bracey on Liverpool Love and Staying Alive that Christian began to incorporate more vibrant color into his own work. His signature nuanced palette expanded to adapt pure color, allowing him to experiment more freely and also reach a broader audience. Like some of Furr’s more notable contemporaries, such as British YBA Damien Hirst and the American painter Eric Fischl, one can glimpse in Christian’s trajectory the depth of study and training that leads an accomplished artist toward global recognition.

Furr’s latest series Jouissance was born after viewing an artificially generated explosion in a lab, a visual that remained with him as a conceptual framework. Referencing the spectacular ending of Zabriskie Point, a five-minute sequence of a single explosion, repeated in super slow motion, demonstrates the abstract quality of film itself. Actual objects are transformed into a riot of color and form.

Taking it further into contemporary language, Christian became interested in the elemental quality of the “fake” explosion, the special effects used to create “reality”. Employing a traditional treatment of the subject, he adopts Warhol’s fascination with mass-production, making multiple versions of a single image. Diamond dust and artificially high color are used to enhance the “special effects”: each canvas is a unique variation, with the artist’s hand and eye altering the single image into an infinite kaleidoscopic view of a one-time event.

The literal translation of Jouissance is physical or intellectual pleasure, delight, or ecstasy. According to the artist, it is the duality of both mind and body that led him to the title for this painting cycle. Intended as an ongoing series, he will continue to explore perception of the artificial and the actual, eventually working with each of the four essential elements in Western culture: earth, air, fire and water. As always, Christian will push the limits of traditional painting while at the same time taking the underlying concepts to new heights.

Christian Furr’s continuous investigations have enabled him to successfully pursue his artistic vision with both passion and intellect. Since achieving his early renown, he has built a devoted and growing following, placing his work in many of the top university and private collections in Britain.

– Fran Kaufman 2015

PHOTO: GED ADAMSON

SELECTED COLLECTIONS
HRH Duke of Edinburgh, Nic Roeg, Blenheim Palace, 45 Park Lane (Dorchester Collection – London, Hotel Cafe Royal London, The Ritz London, Jerry Hall, Britvic, General Electric, Michael Caine, Sir Peter Blake, The Denham Estate, De Montfort University, Leicester University, The Maudsley Hospital, London, Roehampton University, The General Medical Council, The Royal College of General Practitioners, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, The Royal College of Obstetricians, The Institution of Civil engineers, The Institution of Structural Engineers

EXHIBITIONS

2016 – Art Angels, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles – Group – Current
2016 – Box Galleries, London,  SW10 0LJ – Group – Current
2016 – Campbells of London, London,SW7 2LQ ‘Hidden Treasures’ Solo – Current – Feb 2016
2016 – London Art Fair, BusinessDesign Centre, Islington, London, Knight Webb Gallery- Jan 2016
2015 – GX Gallery, London SEG, 22 OCT (Neilands’s Choice)
2015 – Club Hotel Cafe Royal, Regent Street, 22 SEP – 8 OCT London (Curator and exhibitor ‘Be Inspired’ for Save Wild Tigers)
2014 – Lights of Soho, Brewer Street, London (Selected collection with Chris Bracey)
2014 – Liverpool Love at Liverpool Contemporary (Curator and Exhibitor), World Museum
2014 – Cat Art Show LA – 101 Exhibit Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2013 – Staying Alive – with Chris Bracey – 45 Park Lane, London
2012 – Exhibitor and Curator – Liverpool Love, Museum of Liverpool
2011 – Permanent collection – 45 Park Lane, Dorchester Collection, London
2011 – Teenage Cancer Trust – Maison Bertaux, London
2011 – Outside the Square – Margate
2010 – Art Of Giving – Saatchi Gallery, London – judge and exhibitor
2009 – RWS/Sunday Times Watercolour exhibition – Bankside Gallery, London
2008 – Four Contemporary Masters – Harrogate
2008 – Edinburgh Art Fair – Edinburgh
2007 – Art At Golden Square – London
2007 – Royal Portrait Society – Mall Galleries, London – invited exhibitor
2006 – Art of Love – Arndean Gallery, Cork Street
2005 – DACS 20th Anniversary Exhibition – Mall Galleries, London
2003 – LondonArt – Jak Gallery, Hoxton, London
2003 – ‘The Archive’ – The Untitled Gallery, Hampstead, London
2002 – CISAC World Congress Exhibition for DACS – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London
1999 – National Portrait Award – National Portrait Gallery
1994 – Royal Portrait Society Annual Open Exhibition – Mall Galleries, London
1993 – Windsor & Newton Young Artist’s Award/ROI Exhibition
1993/4 – Artfair – Francis Kyle Gallery, London
1992/3 – Royal Overseas League Annual Open Exhibition
1991 – East Meets West – Smiths Gallery, London
1989 – John Players National Portrait Award – National Portrait Gallery
SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2010 – Chelsea Arts Club – London
2009 – Jefferson Wells, ‘True and False’ – Regent Street, London
2008 – Love Your Art – York
2003 – Beatrice Royal Gallery – Hampshire
2000 – La Sinfonia – Key West, Florida
1997 – Royal College of General Practitioners – London
1993 – The Duffer of St George – London
1993 – Royal Overseas League – London
1993 – The Tricycle Gallery – London

 

Christian Furr receives an AoC Gold Award- Wirral Metropolitan College at the House of Commons in 2004

AWARDS
2007 – Guest Speaker, London Best Learners Awards, House of Commons
2005 – MCCA Best Award- Robinsons Commission
2004 – AoC Gold Award, House of Commons
1991 – Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Scholarship

SELECTED COMMISSIONS
2014 -Thomas and Melissa van Straubenzee
2013 – Dita Von Teese
2011 – Blenheim Palace painting, GE
2008 – HRH Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz
2005 – The Big Paint, Robinsons – Robinsons commissioned the artist to produce a commemorative work of Art featuring Tim Henman and Fred Perry for Wimbledon. The queuing public recreated the image on a giant 16ft x 9ft canvas at Wimbledon. ‘The Great Draw’ won The Best Award for ‘Best & Most Effective Long Term Communication Campaign’ at the MCCA Awards (Marketing Communications Consultants Association) 2006
2002 – Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Westminster Cathedral
2002 – Bishops O’Donoghue & Stack, Westminster Cathedral
2002 – Sir Donald Irvine, President General Medical Council
2001 – Professor Robert Shaw, President RC of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians
2000 – Dr Robert Kendall OBE, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
1999 – John Dougill, Chief Executive; Institution of Structural Engineers
1998 – Roger Sainsbury MA F.Eng F.I.C.E President, Institution of Civil Engineers
1997 – Dr Lotte Newman CBE, FRCGP, President Royal College of General Practitioners
1997 – Noel and Leslie Botham; French House
1995 – Queen Elizabeth II; Royal OverSeas League
1993 – Maneck Dalal, Chairman; ROSL
1990 – Professor of Microbiology, Leicester University

EDUCATION
Kingston College – BTec Graphic Design
De Montfort University – 1st Class Degree in Fine Art
Wirral Metropolitan College – Foundation Course

PUBLICATIONS
‘Take Art’ – John Blake Publishing 2008
‘The Lost Art’ – John Blake Publishing 2007

one page bio

维刻艺术003 | 为伊丽莎白二世画像的世上最年轻画家Christian Furr

 

Christian Furr 2002 Kingston Upon Thames PHOTO (DETAIL) GERED MANKOWITZ

Christian Furr 2002
Kingston Upon Thames
PHOTO (DETAIL) GERED MANKOWITZ