SJ Fuerst – Painter

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SJ Fuerst is an American painter living on Gozo.

When and how did you get started?
I’m lucky in that I’ve always known I wanted to pursue a career as a fine artist, so I began taking life drawing classes in high school and then enrolled in art university. I studied in art schools in New York, Florence, and London, and began exhibiting upon graduation from the London Atelier of Representational Art in 2010.

What genre do you consider your work to be?
I consider my work as falling somewhere between Pop art and classical painting.

Describe your work in 10 words or less.
Pop culture, costumes, inflatables, figurative, and surreal.

Where was your first exhibition held?
My first exhibition was part of a group show in my hometown of Southington, Connecticut.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a portrait commission inspired by the Greek gods Apollo and Selene.

Which artist’s work are you most inspired by?
I find fashion photographers to be very inspiring, Tim Walker is one of my favourites. When it comes to painters, I always turn to John Singer Sargent and John William Waterhouse when I need inspiration.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I would love to do something where I could work with animals.

What is the epitome of happiness for you?
Being in my studio with a fresh cup of coffee.

What brought you to Malta, or specifically Gozo?
I had been living in London for seven years and was ready to move to a place that offered bigger studio space and a Mediterranean climate. I chose Gozo because of the peace and amazing light, it’s a fantastic place for painters!

What do you love about Gozo?
The weather and the people, especially the abundance of other artists who live here.

What do you hate about Gozo or Malta?
I don’t hate anything about Malta, but I am still adjusting to the fireworks that go off in Gozo throughout the summer. Even when I’m expecting them, I still jump a mile in the air when the first one goes off.

Favourite colour and what it means to you?
My favourite colour is a combo of white and green – it means I’m probably holding a Starbucks coffee cup.

What is your favourite indulgence?
Cake! I’m a very happy sugar addict, so anything from the Dolceria.

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Paula Fleri-Soler

Paula has a pedigree in TV and stage production (children's and family entertainment) and a passion for the arts. She's taken the reins on The Artists' Directory - Malta and the relevant content for the site.

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