NEWS: SJ Fuerst @ Hancock Gallery | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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SJ Fuerst, Smile. Courtesy of the artist and Hancock Gallery

Considered one the 15 best artists working today, as voted by GQ Magazine, SJ Fuerst draws from fashion, pop art and contemporary culture to create uncannily hyper-real paintings. Her quirky surrealism invites us into a strange world of inflatable animals alongside chic fashion models. Each of the women brings her own personality and elegance to a weirdly bizarre, almost ridiculous scene that Fuerst admits reflects her own personality. It’s this blend of playfulness and sophistication that makes Fuerst’s work so appealing.

Fuerst combines classical and pop sensitivities in her paintings, having studied at both The Florence Academy of Art and London’s Atelier of Representational Art. Whilst the technique may be traditional, the subjects are fresh and contemporary. Having grown up in the suburbs of Connecticut, she now lives in Gozo in an old Maltese farmhouse with 115 inflatable animals to keep her company.

Life is fascinating because it’s full of fun things, serious things, beautiful things and some dark things. I want my work to reflect this.” Explains Fuerst. In her opinion, it’s the balance of the right mix of these elements that transform a painting from being empty and one-dimensional into something really captivating. And so she begins by finding a toy or costume that speaks to her, then designs the most interesting way to use that element in a painting. The model then brings the air of chicness and confidently pulls the whole image together.

Discover the dark undercurrent in Fuerst’s playful collection for yourself at Hancock Gallery.

SJ Fuerst’s exhibition is at Hancock Gallery, Newcastle from Thursday 18th November until Saturday 26th February

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