Jillian FitzMaurice (b. 1988) is an artist based out of Denver, CO. While drawing and painting are her primary mediums, she also works in the realm of performance, video, and installation pieces along with artist collaborations. Her works is influenced by the surreal with touches of opulence. The subjects of the work live in a dream like domain with influences of surrealism, nature, wildlife, and graces of the fashion world. She draws further inspiration from psychological ideas. Recently, she’s been focusing on seeing the light and the dark in every situation. It started long before the 2020 pandemic, but lately feels very relevant. She is a 2011 graduate from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, majoring in Drawing. She is represented by several galleries throughout the western United States and her works are featured in several collections across the world.
“Playing off of psychological themes like in previous works, I hint that there is more to the story. I use toy horses as references which give the figures in my paintings a childlike sweetness. The use of oil pastel which can be crayon-like pushes this idea even further. Under skies filled with stars, moons, and rainbows the horse figures in the paintings cast large shadows. These shadows, the stiff plastic figures, and uneasy lines create an unsettling feeling while the subject matter may at first appear uplifting and playful. While there is a darkness hidden in these works I use these paintings to bring the audience a taste of the joy that we have all been missing. While there is darkness all around us, there are still glimmers of light, or while everything seems to be cheerful there are very dark shadows. Referencing the unsettling childhood experience, I play off of the idea of escapism. As a child, I often found myself escaping reality through imaginative play and nature. I invite you to play pretend and join me in my surreal world. You can escape the news, the pandemic, and the fear we are all experiencing together, even if just for a moment.” – Jillian Kay