Christina Shurts

Gallery Affiliations: RARE Gallery

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Painting allows me a visual exploration of the human condition. Nostalgia and its yearnings play against the senses in the present. Appropriated primarily from family vacation photos, magazines, and sketchbook drawings, source materials fuse with memory and are transformed into fiction. Images of peculiar spaces recur and mingle to renovate reflected memories, longings, and yearnings for getaways.

Cabana stripes, hammocks, circus tents, tree houses, waterfront shacks, umbrellas, and chandeliers create shadows within vast forgotten spaces. The process begins with a mix of vintage and family photographs, magazines, and drawings. I draw, paste, and destroy parts of an image to allow its transformation by the imagination. While reworking the structures’ form, I tend to give them a particular posture or characterization. The humanization of these forms recalls the relationship to a long-lost teddy bear from childhood: the decay only reinforces the sentimental attachment. A strange humor pervades this imaginary world through the awkward forms and “off” palette, offering the viewer a reprieve from the seriousness of the subject matter.