Irena’s three new pieces arrive out of her experience of isolation. Libidinal and playful, Irena’s recent work plays with texture, using unconventional materials like glitter mixed with bright acrylics. Irena’s approach to topics like sexual desire and gender often comes bound to a childlike mythos.
In “Red ride, Red Tide,” Irena offers an alternative to a classic children’s story. This type of storytelling is central to Irena’s work; she claims she refuses to create paintings that fail to tell a story, but instead desires to create “something that is tied to the connection of being alive in the physical world.”
While Irena spans mediums – painting, illustration, sculpture – the narrative at the heart of her work is one, that through a keen wit and controlled irreverence, continually defies convention.
Irena Jurek, “Wet n Wild,” 18 x 24 inches, Acrylic on panel, 2020.
Irena Jurek, “Bright-eyed and Bushy-tailed,” 30 x 24 inches, Acrylic and glitter on panel, 2020.
Irena Jurek, “Red ride, Red Tide,” Ink, acrylic, glitter on paper, 2020.
Irena Jurek was born in Krakow, Poland. She has had solo shows with David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX, Romeo Gallery, NYC, Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson, New York, and with Zurcher Gallery, Paris. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at The Breeder, 0-0LA, MASS Gallery, Know More Games, 247365, Left Field, and others. She 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 lives and works in New York.