Irena Jurek

In her work Irena Jurek makes no distinction between fantasy and reality. Riffing off of the language of fairy tales, cartoons and clichés, she creates scenarios in which a few things are actually as they appear to be using images that are immediately familiar and recognizable. Her works draw from the fascination of the contrast between our personas and the societal masks we all wear, and the more sincere “face” of our instincts and desires.

 

In both life and art, what often seems at first to be the epitome of the lecherous wolf, full of machismo, at a closer inspection turns out to be a docile, submissive creature. At other times, the wolf is exactly as he appears, a dominant alpha – a role he was cast to play. The character of the cat woman is an embodiment of a female being that fully embraces her sexual drives and needs. She represents a capricious, violent and untamable form of sexuality.

 

Jurek received her BFA in 2004 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in 2008 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan. Upcoming exhibitions include The Breeder, Athenes, Greece and a group exhibition curated by Brian Scott Campbell at Harbinger Projects, Reykjavík, Iceland. Recent solo exhibitions include David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX; Romeo Gallery, New York, NY; Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson, NY and with Zurcher Gallery, Paris, FR. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at MASS Gallery; Know More Games; 247365; Denny Gallery; Left Field, among others. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Irena Jurek; A Touch of Class, 2016; acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, ink and mixed media on paper; 22 x 30 in.
Irena Jurek; Don't Mess With Texas, 2017; ink and colored pencil on paper; 14 x 17 in.
Irena Jurek; Fountain of Joy, 2017; acrylic, colored pencil, glitter, ink and mixed media on paper; 30 x 22 in.
Irena Jurek; Fuck It Real Good, 2017; acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, glitter, ink and mixed media; 18 x 24 in.
Irena Jurek; Haute Hippie in Hades, 2017; acrylic, colored pencil, glitter, ink and mixed media on paper; 30 x 22 in.
Irena Jurek; Just a Phone Call Away, 2016-17; acrylic, glitter and mixed media on canvas; 66 x 50 in.
Irena Jurek; Low Hangin' Fruit, 2017; acrylic, pencil, colored pencil, glitter, ink and mixed media on paper; 30 x 22 in.
Irena Jurek; Peekaboo, 2016; acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, glitter, ink and mixed media on paper; 30 x 22 in.
Irena Jurek; Something to Talk About, 2015; acrylic, glitter and mixed media on canvas; 40 x 60 in.
Irena Jurek; Summering Spaniel, 2017; ink, acrylic, pencil, glitter and collage on paper; 24 x 18 in.
Irena Jurek; Teddies, Trenchcoats and Tiaras, 2016; acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, glitter, ink and mixed media on paper; 30 x 22 in.
Irena Jurek; The Happy Blue Cat and Her Entourage, 2017; acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, glitter, ink and mixed media on paper; 20 x 30 in.
Irena Jurek; Whoa Buckaroo, 2017; acrylic, pencil, glitter, ink, mixed media and found object on panel; 22,5 x 18 in.
Irena Jurek; Study Buddies, 2016; ink on paper; 11 x 14 in.
Irena Jurek; Wisdom of the Pussy, 2016; pencil on paper; 18 x 24 in.