Melbourne’s Jessirose Streker is the artist behind Portraits i painted of inspirational figures from around thw world, a tongue-in-cheek online project that catalogues the famous and not-so-famous faces of people she admires.
Poking fun at our cultural obsession with celebrity, Streker paints beguiling portraits of people who interest her—that’s really the only set criteria. You’ll find paintings of David Letterman and Grace Jones, but also of her mates. Her naive style gives the portraits a low key glamour.
“The idea started with wanting to depict people who would never get their portraits painted,” she tells The Creators Project. “As opposed to really rich, privileged celebrities. So friends, my then-boyfriend, and just people who I happened to think were interesting.”
From there the project evolved to take into account some of the artist’s more niche obsessions, including a love of Lady Di. In her upcoming show, Streker is creating a “slightly creepy” shrine to the fallen princess.
A portrait of Fran Drescher from The Nanny, too, holds an almost spiritual significance to the artist. "It's much more about her though than it is about me," Streker explains.
Right now, Streker is working on a portrait of Betty Heslop—otherwise known as the mum from Muriel’s Wedding. “I really wanted to paint Muriel at first, but after watching the movie, I knew I had to paint her mother,” she explains. “Nobody ever talks about how sad that movie is! What happens to her is so unfair.”
While she takes commissions, there are limits. “This friend wanted Kim Kardashian, but I hate her,” Streker says. “ If I had to stare at her face for hours, I don’t know what I’d do.”