Explosive art work donated to DMU by star of British art world

A graduate who has gone on to become a star of the British art world has donated one of his latest works to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).


Christian Furr’s piece called “Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere” has taken pride of place in DMU’s Kimberlin Library just beneath a work by legendary Op Art creator Bridget Riley, who received a Companionship of De Montfort University five years ago.

Christian graduated from DMU in 1989 with a First in Fine Art. He won recognition of his enormous talent early in his career and at the age of just 28 he was commissioned to paint an official portrait of The Queen, personally selected from dozens of painters.

During his career, Christian has delighted critics and garnered a following which includes Sir Michael Caine as well as having his work appear in the National Portrait Gallery and the Saatchi Gallery.


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His donated art work was unveiled in the Kimberlin Library this week before he met with DMU students at the annual Fine Art Auction, when student work is sold to raise money for their end of year show.

Christian said: “I am extremely proud and honoured that I have some of my art hanging in the university that I studied in.

“I would never have envisaged when I came to this library as a first year at De Montfort looking for inspiration that I would now be standing looking at one of my pieces here. It is quite moving to be honest. I really hope it inspires students

“Without doubt, my time at DMU has influenced my career. What I loved about the course was that you could migrate across different media - I experimented with film as well as painting – to express yourself.

“It is the nature of the modern world that you have to have that adaptability. It helps you believe in yourself and find your voice.

“My advice to DMU students is value your time here and follow your interests. If you do that it will lead to happiness in the long term as it will help you find your voice.”

“Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere” is one of a series under the title Jouissance, which in French can translate as physical or intellectual pleasure, delight or ecstasy.

He was inspired after witnessing an artificially created explosion in a lab, as well as memories of the 1960s Batman TV series, and a particular episode when The Joker carried out an experiment with a vaporiser which turned people into a pile of dust!  The work is on canvas and uses diamond dust to add to the effect of the explosive painting.

First year Fine Art student Matthew Williams said: “I think the art is inspirational. It is amazing to think Christian came to the same university as me and it shows where we can all be in 20 years’ time.”

MA Fine Art student Diana Strandin added: “I think this is one of my favourite pieces by Christian. It is amazing he has come here and taken his time to talk to us about it.”

Posted on Wednesday 2 March 2016

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