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Emma Ferreira - Artist/Philanthropist - Santa Monica College

Celebrated artist Emma Ferreira has been a full-time contributor to the contemporary art world since 1998. She is revered as Los Angeles’s preeminent, young mixed media artist.

Ferreira's work received much attention when it was auctioned at international auction house Christie’s Beverly Hills. It continues to be sold to private estates, corporate collections and galleries throughout the world. Emma and her artwork are featured regularly in publications alongside iconic artists such as Herb Ritts, Andy Warhol, Roy Liechtenstein, and Marc Chagall.

Ferreira was born in Buckinghamshire, England and educated in London, England. Her photographic training at Santa Monica College nurtured her natural instincts to represent the human form as more than just a model seen through the lens of the camera. She aims to portray the meditative complexities that lie beneath the individual’s external appearance; she captures the essence of her subjects by photographing them in a way that is bold, yet reserved, revealing energy and emotion.

Ferreira’s work has evolved over the years from mixed media and textured oil paint in bold, dramatic colors to her current body of work with photography.  The new work is an ethereal representation produced by way of a unique method of printing photography on clear or acrylic glass. The result is a transparent image layered on top of materials such as acrylics, aluminum, or steel. Ferreira refers to this process as “translayerism”—the layering of multiple translucent panels in such a way that the work is suspended with light passing through. Many of these representations showcase the human form. The subject is often layered with images of architecture or sculpture.

Ferreira firmly believes that our dreams can be transformed into reality and that the circumstances for that transformation—freedom, choice, and desire—are at our disposal. This inspired her to develop The Reality of My Illusion (TROMI), which is both a philosophy of life and a body of work. TROMI marks the moment when illusions collide with reality. Emphasizing the role of freedom in our lives and our ability to resist the constraints of life, society, and our past, TROMI invites us to choose our destiny: fate and fortuity submit to desire and freedom of the will; the choices we make shape our lives; our lives shape reality; and our illusions come to life.

The art of TROMI speaks to the fact that Ferreira’s once illusory dream has become her reality. By layering ethereal images of human figures against themselves, a lucid milieu, and/or a clear surface, she effectively achieves a multi-dimensionality that suggests the notion that dream reality can be lived reality. With provocative yet chic imagery, she also shares the vital message that desire is the essence of destiny. In doing so, she offers up her dreams for us to ponder against our own reality so that we too may identify ourselves as the architects of our existence.

Philanthropy is a driving mission in Ferreira’s life. Her success affords her the opportunity to give back in the pursuit of philanthropic endeavors that fuel her passion for serving children. Ferreira champions child development through her support of a growing number of charitable organizations at home and overseas, including Operation Smile, Dreams Can Come True, The Art of Elysium, HMF, Witness, Hollywood Hearts, and Project Angel Food. Each of these organizations has a defined purpose in the care, development, and education for those she refers to as tomorrow’s pioneers.


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