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. She has an upcoming solo exhibition with David Shelton Gallery in Houston. Recent solo exhibitions include Romeo Gallery, NYC; Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson, New York, and with Zurcher Gallery, Paris. 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; Study Buddies, 2016; ink on paper; 11 x 14 in.
Irena Jurek; She Done Him Right, 2016; colored pencil, pencil, ink and gel pen on paper; 18 x 24 in.
Irena Jurek; Wisdom of the Pussy, 2016; pencil on paper; 18 x 24 in.