A Note from Christian Furr

A Note from Christian Furr

Delve deeper into Christian Furr's artistic journey as he unveils his latest creations, 'Battenberg Yellow Pink' (2024) and 'Battenberg Pink Yellow' (2024), offering insight into his unique creative process.

Learn more about Christian Furr's collection here



1. What inspired you to create this piece?

I like the colour combination of pastel yellow and pink and this particular cake has those colours in edible form.  The symmetry of the four windows of the cake in their alternating colours reminded me of Mondrian a little too. 

I wasn't the first to notice the aesthetic qualities of the Battenberg. 

Around 2017 I read that Leonie Orton, the playwright Joe Orton’s sister published a book about her memories of Joe who lived in Islington with his partner Kenneth Halliwell.

“And then there was the cake. Joe appeared from the kitchenette holding aloft a plate in the middle of which sat a Battenberg. He was parading in front of us, holding the plate like an exhibit at an auction. Turning the plate around he began to elucidate on it's wonderful so magical qualities; the pink and yellowness of the sponge and the precision of the marzipan. They (Joe and Ken) both agreed it was as perfect as a cake could be. To me it was just an ordinary factory produced Lyons Battenberg but they were discussing it like it was a work of art”

So reading this excerpt was the trigger for the painting. I found out, after choosing to paint it too, from my sister, that Battenberg was my Dad’s favourite cake which was a lovely surprise.

2. Does your practice respond to any specific themes?

Certain motifs ceratinaly reoccur in my work. I am in the process of compiling my online catalogue raisonee at the moment with Wallop design and I have discovered this, as I had never given it much thought.

I started painting still lifes for instance when I was 15 yrs old and set up a still life of fruit then I started painting in oils and copying older works to try and work them out. Often inspirations or themes occur like a chain reaction…

My interest in painting Battenberg originally grew in an indirect way out of painting the cheeses which in turn came from painting a half botle of milk that had gone off in my Whitechapel studio in 1993. They are all food, close to hand, close to my heart  and interesting to paint in an impasto style.

Regarding specific themes I think humour and love are prevalent in most of my works.

3. What mediums did you use to create this work?

A mixture of mediums and techniques.

I have a corner of my studio set up for still lifes. Like Irving Pann’s corner where he got subjects to stand. I hand paint the backdrops for a still life corner then set the objects I am going to paint there and spend a couple of hours capturing them.
These two Yellow and Pink and Pink and Yellow paintings are iterations of the first painted  battenberg I did on a grey background in oils. My first painting was in keeping with the Spanish still life tradition and their straight forward depictions of food. These two yellow and pink variations or iterations on the same theme are more ‘pop art’ / modern or post modern?

So I used oil paint originally then I scanned  the oil paintings and created different colour versions digitally which were printed then hand painted in acrylic and oil pastel. Most recently the acrylic colour versions then inspired me to paint the cakes in oils with yellow and pink backgrounds again.

4. Who are your biggest artistic influences?

I have so many. With these works Durer (A great piece of turf)  Velázquez/ Warhol  Titian / Oldenberg 
Morandi/ Melendez 

To me a Battenberg is as valid a subject as Durer's grass in 'The Great Piece of Turf' To me this is 'The Great Piece of Cake' 

Maybe I am something of a singular connoisseur of ordinariness as I do find beauty in the mundane and put it on a pedestal for my paintings.

 Battenberg Pink Yellow, 2024 -  by  Bridgeman Editions


5. How do you find new inspiration?

Reading things and going to the supermarket.


Bridgeman Editions is delighted to be working with Christian Furr, featuring a collection of his fine art prints. Furr’s prints, ‘I Saw the Truth - Free as a Bird’ (2014), ‘Battenberg Yellow Pink’ (2024) and ‘Battenberg Pink Yellow’ (2024), are available to purchase via our website framed or unframed.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.