Painting at the intersection between abstraction and portraiture, Figgis unites an abiding interest in history with a penchant for the macabre. As critic David Rimanelli notes, the figures populating Genieve Figgis paintings emanate from some luminescent netherworld, suspended between life and death, or living life and death or life through death in a land of the willingly lost, enchanted and menacing by turns. Laden with both humor and anxiety, her work is at once wrought with emotional intensity and haunted by psychological deviance, rooted in her ethereal caricatures of genteel society gone awry.
Incorporating sourced imagery of royalty from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Figgis engages in an ongoing dialogue with the court painter tradition, exploring the absurdity of history and power dynamics subjects deeply related to her Irish heritage through depictions of English aristocracy, grandiose architecture, and baroque fashion. By means of her distinctly anti-academic aesthetic, which features motifs that are, at turns, psychedelic and grotesque, Figgis' work implies a sense of distrust in authority figures and accepted dogmas, instead relegating them to a place of ridicule and farce.
Indicative of current trends in communication, in which social media has the power to engender changes in public perception, Figgis induction into the American art scene was largely through the Internet, where she first gained recognition in New York circles on Twitter and Instagram. Through her autonomous self-promotion and resoundingly positive public reception, Figgis has acquired a reputation as a rising talent in contemporary art, whose unique style has garnered the attention of notable collectors and art enthusiasts worldwide.