“With portraits I seek the soul of something – the essential about somebody – the feeling of somebody”
Christian Furr’s earliest memory of art, is copying from his beloved childhood comics – The Dandy and The Beano – when he was obsessed with capturing a likeness of the characters. Then, around age twelve, his grandmother introduced him to oil paints, and he hasn’t looked back since, still using them as his primary medium to this day. He has, however, adapted the way in which he utilises oil paints, taking them from their constrictive, traditional origins, and approaching them from a fresh perspective, stating that he “knows a painting is finished when it looks like it was done in seconds”. In addition to this, Furr also favours other mediums, such as neon and diamond dust.
When he was aged just twenty-eight, Furr became the youngest artist ever commissioned to paint a portrait of The Queen. This sky-rocketed his career as an artist, and, to this day, remains his favourite work yet. Her Majesty personally selected Furr from a pool of artists, after seeing his portrait of Maneck Dalal. Furr researched previous paintings of The Queen in preparation and concluded that they were often too far away and impersonal. For his own piece, he wanted to capture the temperament and humanity of The Queen, including elements such as a blanket she brought to stay warm, and the slight smile on her face when listening to the changing of the guard outside. After two, two-hour long sittings, Furr finished his painting in his studio over the course of a month. “With every portrait, I aim to capture the soul’s reality or ‘essence’ or ‘aura’, pin paint, crystallising it for centuries”.