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Jeff Ferst

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20140527152430-cactus_flowers
Cactus Flowers, 2014 Mixed Medial on Paper 22 X 30 Inches © Jeff Ferst
20140527152721-night_visitor
Night Visitor, 2014 Mixed Media on Paper 30 X 22 Inches © Jeff Ferst
20140527153031-koi_pond
Koi Pond, 2014 Mixed Media on Paper 22 X 30 Inches © Jeff Ferst
20140527153505-desert_jambalaya
Desert Jambalaya, 2014 Mixed Media on Canvas 72 X 48 Inches © Jeff Ferst
20140527155058-roadrunner_talks_to_the_moon
Roadrunner talks to the moon, 2014 Mixed Media on Canvas 40 X 80 Inches © Jeff Ferst
20140527155340-view_from_4th_avenue
View from 4th Avenue, 2014 Multimedia on Canvas 30 X 10 Inches © Jeff Ferst
20140527155609-may22
Austin, 2014 Mixed Media on Canvas 18 X 48 Inches © Jeff Ferst
20140527161324-a_brilliant_sky
A Brilliant Sky, 2013 Oil on Canvas 15 X 45 Inches © Jeff Ferst
20140527152056-studioopentour1
Quick Facts
Birthplace
New York City
Lives in
Tucson
Works in
Tucson
Schools
New York University, 1975, BA
Tags
flamboyant, juicy, life affirming, vibrant, lyrical, colorful, geometric-abstraction, oil painting, Mosaics, fine art, Art, abstract, mixed-media, landscape, modern
art statement - jeff ferst

 "Color possesses me. I don't have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one. I am a painter." - Paul Klee

Jeff Ferst paints contemporary landscape paintings of vibrant colors and heavy impasto paint as well as abstractions. Ferst’s paintings are energetic and celebratory, tactile and visual, grounded in reality and musical in feeling. Recently his work was singled out by the US State Department for its "musicality" in lightening up the residence of the US Ambassador to Dushanbe's residence "in a truly unexpected way". The ambassador called Ferst's painting "Fantasia" "The flagship piece of the exhibit." This is quite a statement when you consider the exhibit includes works by artists such as Johns, Rauschenberg and Indiana.

Ferst was born in the Bronx in New York City. As a child, he was involved in drawing and painting, and through his mother he was exposed to art in New York’s museums. Ferst went on to major in printmaking (specializing in serigraphs) at New York University, graduating with a BA in Fine Art. One of his printmaking instructors at NYU was also a textile designer, and while in school Ferst produced wall hangings of printed fabric, and created a series of portraits with stuffed fabric on canvas, which he sold through a New York gallery.

From his college days, a group of artists have remained important to Ferst, starting with the Impressionists, for their focus on intense color relationships. In Kandinsky and Klee, he found artists who combined an imaginative approach to abstraction with an inventive and personal feeling for color. In Cubism, Ferst discovered a model for the activated division of space, which he continues to explore in his current work.  After college, Ferst traveled around Europe and the U.S., eventually settling in Canada, where he lived until 2012.

In 2005, Ferst experienced a personal and artistic turning point. He survived an episode of Sudden Cardiac Death, and after emerging from the trauma began to paint again. But the work that emerged was new to Ferst, completely abstract paintings with vibrant squares of color. The process of making this emerging work was, in the artist’s words, “natural and effortless.” These painting have continued to evolve over the next six years into the landscape paintings of today. The paintings vibrate with color, creating a moving and joyful visual experience, described in 2008 as “flagrantly flamboyant” by Tara Tassone in the Preston Catalogue. Ferst became interested in the Senoran Desert in 2009 and moved to Tucson, AZ to paint the desert and find new inspiration for his work.

Ferst has shown his painting in exhibitions across the U.S., Canada and overseas and is in numerous private and corporate collections. The artist is an Elected Member of the Canadian Society of Artists and The Colour & Form Society as well as the National Oil Painters Association.

Ferst is represented by galleries in Canada and the U.S. Art Dallas/Trinity West Gallery, Dallas; Art House Centro Tucson and Liss Gallery/Gallery Catalyst, Toronto.