Cheryl Schurgers (b. 1991) is a Dutch visual artist working within performative photo and drawing installations. She received her BFA from the Photography department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and is known for being both the subject and photographer of her works.
Schurgers transforms herself and her surroundings into a polished but uncanny reality. Solitude is the key element in the process of her work. The production of her pictures are private happenings wherein the photograph, as a tool to document the moment, is the endgame.
The habit of constructing herself and her environment began at age fifteen and is a practice she has consistently developed over the years. While photography has become a desired medium for artists to work with, she felt the need to differentiate her photos by being part of the work herself.
A recurring theme is the way women are portrayed in visual culture and how female artists are criticized for incorporating their own bodies into their work. The duality of acquiring artistic authority and at the same time being made a muse as a woman in art history.
Schurgers’ works are on the verge of vanity projects, thus commenting on the contemporary urge to take control of creating an authentic self. Ultimately, her work will grow into an archive of self-presentation that reflects her life over the time of her generation. A coming-of-age story through multidisciplinary installations that represents her choreographed enigmatic reality in both photography and drawings.
Her work has been shown at Unseen Photo Fair (Amsterdam), the curated portfolio event Plattform at Fotomuseum Winterthur (Zürich) and commissioned projects at Atelier Néerlandais and Carrousel du Louvre (Paris). She collaborated with Dutch artist Christiaan Zwanikken, for a performance piece, during the Kinetica Art Fair 2013 (London). In 2015, she initiated her first solo-exhibition SAVOUR in a temporary project space in the gallery district of Amsterdam. Works are held in private collections across Europe and the United States.
Over the course of 2020 she posted her recent series HAUNT, a work developed in solitude in her home in Amsterdam, on her Instagram feed while museums and galleries were closed during the COVID-19 lockdowns.