Meet Brendan Murphy, a contemporary world-reknowned painter, whose paintings take you on a journey through the physical and through the emotional. Exploring different themes and patterns much as the female silhouette, chalkboard portraits, to champion athletes. Brendan’s paintings hold your hand as you walk the ever so thin line of understanding and curiosity. Curious about his works? Don’t worry!
Brendan’s work can be seen at all the major art fairs including Art Basel, Frieze, and he is also represented by a number of galleries around the world. As well, Brendan’s newest works and events can be found on his website at www.brendanmurphyart.com
SV : I am curious about your background , what was it like to play professional basketball transition to work on wall street and how has that made you a better artist ? What made you become an artist , and why a painter?
I was working as a professional athlete and then I moved to New York City and worked on Wall Street for a short time. I lived in New York during 9/11 which I believe played a big role in my decision to pursue the creative world full time. I have always been fascinated by color and the energy that colors represent and actually create . Painting has been a reliable medium to explore this relationship. As well i think when you have experienced life in the different ways i have , it really gives me a lot of material to work with. a Lot of painting and creativity is story telling, whether its from the sub conscious or whether its dealing with very real thoughts and emotions. So , when you have been through a lot , you have a lot to pull from. The hard part is improving your technique and your ability to execute and tell these stories effectively.
SV : What makes you feel inspired during your everyday life ?
I think on a most basic level my inspiration is to make really cool beautiful things it’s as simple as that . On a deeper level I do like to explore the complexities of relationships emotions ,energies and how all of these things can determine which direction life will go in. I’m always exploring the different mediums available to us and trying to get better at each one. Now that i have a wife and she has given me a beautiful home and family, i am inspired by her and my child Leeloo. just watching them interact with each other is inspiring and filled with colors and stories.
Your website BrendanMurphyart.com
shows a large scope of work, you have evolved your painting style and have covered different subject and in the process used many different mediums. There is an obvious consistency in your use of color , but I even see a departure from that color in your chalkboard series. I was hoping we could grab a few different paintings and discuss them individually.
SV : An exploration of colors , this painting reflects many aspects of our human nature , the need to explore and communicate through symbols and hidden messages ,please tell us more about this colorful astronaut and his first step into this picturesque world.
I grew up watching and dreaming about the Space shuttle launches , I also remember very clearly watching one of the launches go horribly wrong. all the while , i remember my imagination just running wild, I mean, where are they going? how do these rockets even work? what is out there? etc etc etc. The Astro series for me is a reflection of those shuttle launches and all the imagination they created, as well, I want to explore or at least try and guess the type of emotions and feelings that astronauts go through. Because interestingly enough, they are very similar to those thoughts, fears, ideas and dreams that everyone has, they are just doing it in outer space.
SV : Passion, imagination , satisfaction , soul , feelings , instinct , are these Observations and notes about what’s significant in life?
I think they are indeed significant and meaningful emotions, but i also think they are just pieces to a puzzle. A puzzle of emotions that we are always trying to piece together. We are all in search of a formula to help guide us, , help us figure shit out . The chalkboard series is my attempt to put things in some sort of flow, some sort of pattern that gives the illusion that it can be controlled and created.
WOMEN :– TAKE ME TO THE RIVER –
SV : A sensual silhouette of a woman always provides evocative sensations , mothers , wives , daughters , woman are around us , giving life and taking care of it , tell us about this beautiful lady and her sensual glance .
I Love women, I live with atleast two of them all the time. I love their complexities, their intelligence, their innocence and their ability to also be extremely tough and gritty. i find women inherently tougher than most men by a lot. With all of these moving pieces and charateristics, women are a great subject to paint and explore though color and flow. you will never run out of material. Take me to the river was a very important piece for me because i thought i was able to depict a women maybe in a way that she had never been portrayed.
FLOWERS : – LET’S TAKE A WALK –
SV : ” Flowers ” I love this section of paintings ,high and vivid flowers that comes out from a blue sky that looks like a brilliant universe ,shining and bright , how evocative. Do you use flowers as symbols ?
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. Oscar Wilde
I love that quote from Wilde, i never thought of the flowers as symbols, thats interesting….. i guess i approach the flowers and the garden paintings as something that is front and center but asking , what is behind the garden, what lies beyond each flower.
All of my flower paintings have a dramatic or dreamy background with the hope that , yes these flowers are beautiful , but what is behind that layer. what lies beyond that layer.
VARIATIONS : – DNA DOESN’T LIE –
SV : Again a hidden message , in the background of your fingerprint painting there is an equation that reads – ” You can always count on Love “, what message are you trying to capture there?
Well, love never disappoints, it never fails to deliver the whole package. Now, it is quite often that a lover or someone you love will disappoint you , but you can always count on Love and all of her friends and emotions that come with it. It can be just as powerful as greed, guilt, desire. Love embodies and plays with all of those emotions. When you find love you get the all inclusive package.
ATHLETES : – GOAT –
SV : Novak Djokovic is the subject of this tennis themed painting , but there are others; Andy Murray , Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal…. Do you think your experience as a professional basketball player helped you to connect with your subject better?
I think having learned and trained as an athlete definitely helps form a connection with some of these champions. I never made it to their level but i do know what its like to compete at a pro level and the stress and preparation that is require. On the creative side I think I am far more interested int he movement , the energy and balance that these guys have, especially the tennis players.
SV : Your career is evolving so quickly , Please tell us about your future plans , any new ideas ?
Currently I am pursuing different channels of creativity beyond the canvas though the painting drives the bus I am trying to complement the paintings with other medium such a sculpture glasswork marble etc. it’s just another way and then another channel for me to execute my ideas . I also think it allows me to become more conceptual versus literal and visual dealing with one particular subject I can take a step back and really create or deal with a concept that I find interesting .
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