Hand finished monoprint, Acrylic paint with diamond dust on canvas
41 x 41 inches
112 x 112 cm
Edition of 7 (4 remaining) + 5 A/Ps
Christian Furr at the Kimberlin Library, De Montfort University 2016
Jouissance - Rose Pink, 2015
For My Heart would Explode with Tenderness - Jouissance, Rose Pink
Inkjet print on canvas with diamond dust
Signed/dated on the reverse
From a hand finished series of 7 – all vary and are unique
Only 3 A/Ps left
116.6cm x 120.65cm (45.75” x 45.75”)
From a hand finished series of 7 – all vary and are unique
5 Artists Proofs
'My Jouissance vision conjures up many possibilities: celestial sensation, ecstacy, spirit, destruction, ephemerality, orgasm, a blossoming flower and becomes an instant symbol for the release of energy and emotion that...
"My Jouissance vision conjures up many possibilities: celestial sensation, ecstacy, spirit, destruction, ephemerality, orgasm, a blossoming flower and becomes an instant symbol for the release of energy and emotion that is life itself"
It has become my personal vanitas motif -. It appears like a beautiful moment in the darkness. It is a painting of something that is apparently ceasing to exist that will hopefully exist forever. A firework or a comet becoming one with the universe which surrounds it. But you don't need to know the reason why I created it or what it even is. Once you're dealing on a non verbal level, ambiguity should be a prerequisite. The jouissance paintings can and should be intepreted in many different ways as they are about formlessness: It can be whatever you want it to be...
They represent my journey in art
They are very personal to me because they represent my journey in Art.
The original idea for the Jouissance series, came from viewing an artificially generated explosion used in the special effects industry for inclusion in films.
Immediately I wanted to paint it, to make it real. This was the beginning of the process.By painting the explosion I rooted it in the classical tradition of painting 'De Natura' and the elements.Then when I scan the original paintings and give them colour and add diamond dust it makes them contemporary. So I go from copying the form, in the Platonic sense, with the original oil paintings to creating something in different colours which is very removed from traditon and becomes about formlessness and mystery. Sometimes in th ecoloured diamond dusts, the original motif is hard to see because its behind so many creative veils and I like this.
In French the word 'Jouissance ' means enjoyment
The idea for colours and diamond dust came when I was coming out of a yoga session and the teacher was talking baout Shiva, Limitless, transcendent and formless. In French, 'jouissance' means enjoyment, in terms both of rights and property, and of sexual orgasm - the latter has a meaning partially lacking in the English word "enjoyment" or joyful abandon. Poststructuralism has developed the latter sense of jouissance in complex ways, so as to denote a transgressive, excessive kind of pleasure linked to the division and splitting of the subject involved. I have thought about the paintings connection to science and art history, Big Bang theory and stardust.
Big Bang Theory was partly discovered by a priest who believed in a purifying fire.
Most of the elements that make up the human body were formed in stars.
Group show (2022) at RedHouse Originals, Harrogate, United Kingdom Group show (2016) at Box Galleries, London, United Kingdom Group show (2016) at Art Angels, LA, USA
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
Christian Furr Retrospective (2019) Williamson Art Gallery and Museum