Christian Furr (born 1966, Heswall, Wirral, England) is an acclaimed English painter. In 1995 he was commissioned to officially paint Queen Elizabeth II making him the youngest artist to date to have officially painted the Queen.
Furr was educated at Ladymount Primary School, Heswall and St Anselm’s College, Birkenhead. He later did a foundation course at Wirral Metropolitan College and a Fine Art degree at De Montfort University.
- Kingston College – BTec Graphic Design
- De Montfort University – 1st Class Degree in Fine Art
- Wirral Metropolitan College – Foundation Course
In 1995, at the age of 28, he was commissioned by the Royal Overseas League to officially paint Queen Elizabeth II. HRH Queen Elizabeth II chose Furr from a number of artists and the portrait was painted at Buckingham Palace. The portrait now hangs on permanent display at the Royal Overseas League headquarters in London and is viewable by the public.
In November 2012, Furr curated the art exhibition “Liverpool Love” at the new Museum of Liverpool in aid of Claire House Hospice. The exhibition included works by Yoko Ono, Sir Peter Blake David Mach and many respected artists from the art and music scene. In June 2011, Furr was commissioned to paint Blenheim Palace during GE Triathlon. The painting was bought by Jamie Blandford for public display at the Palace in 2014 when it was auctioned to raise funds for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust by GE. In 2008, he was commissioned to paint Sultan, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. In 2002, Furr painted Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor for Westminster Cathedral along with Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue and Bishop George Stack.
His work has been displayed in the Saatchi Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Society of Portrait Painters and The Royal Watercolour Society. He is a member of Chelsea Arts Club, Hotel Cafe Royal, Groucho Club, Eccentric Club and the former Colony Room Soho. Furr’s other portrait subjects include: Dita Von Teese, Tim Henman, Esme Bianco, Gered Mankowitz, and Father Michael Seed. Furr’s book The Lost Art was published in May 2008.
In 2013 Furr had a show of neon artworks created with the late Chris Bracey entitled ‘The Staying Alive Neon Collection’. The show received critical acclaim in the British press including The Independent.
In 2013 Furr was appointed to the board of the British Inspiration Awards where he nominated Peter Blake (artist) for a special recognition award in his 80th year. Furr is on council at the Chelsea Arts Club In 2014 he was appointed to the Artists General Benevolent Institution at the Royal Academy. ‘AGBI’ is the oldest charity in Great Britain and was founded by JMW Turner In 2015 he became a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts His work features in prominent collections globally including Hotel Café Royal where he is also on committee and the Dorchester Collection.
During his early career while Furr was highly sought after for his portrait commissions, the superbly talented painter simultaneously followed the strong tradition of representation in British modern and contemporary art throughout his oeuvre. Today Christian focuses on keeping oil paint a fresh contemporary medium, and is continually interested in experimentation and exploration of new concepts.
Like an earlier generation that included Lucien Freud and David Hockney, Christian examines everyday objects and human emotional connections with equal interest, looking to reach the essential nature of his chosen subject, be it a member of the royal family, an enigmatic couple, a flower, a still-life or a measure of cheese.
‘Take Art’ – John Blake Publishing 2008
‘The Lost Art’ – John Blake Publishing 2007
2007 – London Best Learners Awards, House of Commons
2005 – MCCA Best Award- Robinsons Commission
2004 – AoC Gold Award, House of Commons
1991 – Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Scholarship
- 2015 Campbell’s of London, London UK (current)
- 2015 – GX Gallery, London SEG, 22 OCT (Neilands’s Choice)
- 2015 – Club Hotel Cafe Royal, Regent Street, 22 SEP – 8 OCT London (Curator and exhibitor ‘Be Inspired’ for Save Wild Tigers)
- 2014 – Lights of Soho, Brewer Street, London (Selected collection with Chris Bracey)
- 2014 – Liverpool Love at Liverpool Contemporary (Curator and Exhibitor), World Museum
- 2014 – Cat Art Show LA – 101 Exhibit Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
- 2013 – Staying Alive – with Chris Bracey – 45 Park Lane, London
- 2012 – Exhibitor and Curator – Liverpool Love, Museum of Liverpool
- 2011 – Permanent collection – 45 Park Lane, Dorchester Collection, London
- 2011 – Teenage Cancer Trust – Maison Bertaux, London
- 2011 – Outside the Square – Margate
- 2010 – Art Of Giving – Saatchi Gallery, London – judge and exhibitor
- 2009 – RWS/Sunday Times Watercolour exhibition – Bankside Gallery, London
- 2008 – Four Contemporary Masters – Harrogate
- 2008 – Edinburgh Art Fair – Edinburgh
- 2007 – Art At Golden Square – London
- 2007 – Royal Portrait Society – Mall Galleries, London – invited exhibitor
- 2006 – Art of Love – Arndean Gallery, Cork Street
- 2005 – DACS 20th Anniversary Exhibition – Mall Galleries, London
- 2003 – LondonArt – Jak Gallery, Hoxton, London
- 2003 – ‘The Archive’ – The Untitled Gallery, Hampstead, London
- 2002 – CISAC World Congress Exhibition for DACS – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London
- 1999 – National Portrait Award – National Portrait Gallery
- 1994 – Royal Portrait Society Annual Open Exhibition – Mall Galleries, London
- 1993 – Windsor & Newton Young Artist’s Award/ROI Exhibition
- 1993/4 – Artfair – Francis Kyle Gallery, London
- 1992/3 – Royal Overseas League Annual Open Exhibition
- 1991 – East Meets West – Smiths Gallery, London
- 1989 – John Players National Portrait Award – National Portrait Gallery
- 2010 – Chelsea Arts Club – London
- 2009 – Jefferson Wells, ‘True and False’ – Regent Street, London
- 2008 – Love Your Art – York
- 2003 – Beatrice Royal Gallery – Hampshire
- 2000 – La Sinfonia – Key West, Florida
- 1997 – Royal College of General Practitioners – London
- 1993 – The Duffer of St George – London
- 1993 – Royal Overseas League – London
- 1993 – The Tricycle Gallery – London
- London Art Fair with Knight Webb Gallery 0n 20 – 24 January 2016
PUBLICATIONS & PRESS
Christian’s work is in several collections around the world, including:
HRH Duke of Edinburgh, Nic Roeg, Blenheim Palace, 45 Park Lane (Dorchester Collection – London), Hotel Cafe Royal London, The Ritz London, Jerry Hall, Britvic, General Electric, Michael Caine, The Denham Estate, De Montfort University, Leicester University, Roehampton University, The General Medical Council, The Royal College of General Practitioners, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, The Royal College of Obstetricians, The Institution of Civil Engineers, The Institution of Structural Engineers.