Lauren West (b. 1989, Oxford, MS) is a visual artist from Oxford, Mississippi who now resides in New York City. She received her MFA degree from The New York Academy of Art after obtaining a BFA from the University of Mississippi. West’s paintings deal with the wild combination of animals, Southern imagery in the United States, humor, and existentialism. The majority of the work consists of a half fantastical, half realist approach to oil paint which often depicts beasts coming to grips with their own impermanence. She enjoys creating characters in worlds that don’t mind leaning into the cheesy wonderment of what it all means. Perseverance is an important element within these characters while they are seen continuing onward despite noticing their own mortality. The result can be described as comically hopeful and bittersweet. Lauren West has exhibited in Mississippi at the University of Mississippi Museum in Oxford, and in New York at Right Behind the New Museum, ChaShaMa, and The New York Academy of Art, among others.