Marc Straus

Gallery

For over two decades, Todd Murphy has been exploring a practice that combines sculpture, painting and photography. With the wide-eyed inquisitiveness of a 19th century Naturalist, Murphy has travelled extensively to the far reaches of the world, collecting, photographing and fastidiously cataloging melting glaciers, aviary species, exotic fruits and more. These photographic studies of curiosities are sources for his complex narratives that frequently feature archetypal themes from philosophy and mythology. Murphy’s interests however go beyond these classical prototypes and include subtle subtexts of bigotry, Southern history and fantastic literary stories as Ulysses. In the end his recurring protagonists of horses, birds, dresses, boats, are poetic vehicles for a humanistic discourse – the contradictory nature of Man is as a privileged species as well as just another creature in a web of life. Furthermore, hierarchies of privilege and status within the human species are merely conceits.

Murphy is committed to the rigors of each discipline – in painting he prefers traditional, even anachronistic methods of oil painting. Some paintings are accentuated with an additional layer of painted Plexiglas, producing a perspectival illusion of depth. Such is the phenomenological aspect of Murphy’s work. In one monumental fifteen-foot work Murphy depicts over two hundred avian species. In another a tiger in the foreground ready to pounce is both menacing and majestic. In a sense, Murphy’s Caravaggio-esque subjects limn solitary actors on a stage, gratified of themselves before the curtain falls.

In assemblage, Murphy alchemizes ramshackle castaway objects from junkyards and thrift shops to unlock their buried language. In one of his “dress” assemblages, a billowing dress of twigs collected from the Southern coastline when combined with an antique tailor’s mannequin is exalted to an eccentric Degas Dancer. Levitating within some freestanding sculptures, Murphy adds another dimension of time and space through a sly play of artificial lights and projections of his experimental films.

Ultimately, Murphy’s indelible belief is in the interconnectedness of all things – that the Spiritual and Natural World can intertwine in beautiful, unforeseen ways.

Todd Murphy (b. 1962) was born in Chicago and moved to Georgia as a child. After studying art at the University of Georgia, he began his artistic career in Atlanta and continued to show there as well as in San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seoul, South Korea and elsewhere. His work is in many prestigious international private and museum collections including The High Museum of Art, The New Orleans Museum, and The Tampa Museum of Art. Murphy’s work has often been used in film, music, and theatre. Murphy currently lives and works in Brooklyn New York. Todd Murphy is represented by MARC STRAUS, NYC.

Portrait by Sam Matamoros (Sam Pictures NYC).

Download Artist CV

Selected Works
2017
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
60 x 40 x 3 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Saint Simon Island

2017
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
60 x 40 x 3 inches

2017
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
60 x 40 x 3 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Devorah

2017
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
60 x 40 x 3 inches

2017
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
60 x 40 x 3 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Seraphina

2017
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
60 x 40 x 3 inches

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print and branches)
74 x 96 inches
Branches variable dimensions -  Marc Straus Gallery
Stag

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print and branches)
74 x 96 inches
Branches variable dimensions

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital prints)
108 x 180 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Gracious

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital prints)
108 x 180 inches

2014-15
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital prints)
108 x 180 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Untitled

2014-15
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital prints)
108 x 180 inches

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
84 x 60 x 7 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Murmurations (Regatta)

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
84 x 60 x 7 inches

 -  Marc Straus Gallery
Murmurations (Regatta) Detail
2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, sticks, LED Lights)
84 x 60 x 7 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Murmurations (Nocturne)

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, sticks, LED Lights)
84 x 60 x 7 inches

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
84 x 60 x 7 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Murmurations (Loom)

2016
Mixed media (Oil on plexiglas with archival digital print, found objects)
84 x 60 x 7 inches

2016
Archival Digital Print, Oil on Plexiglas
84 x 60 x 2 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Untitled (Japanese Dress)

2016
Archival Digital Print, Oil on Plexiglas
84 x 60 x 2 inches

2015
Mixed media (Oil on plexi with archival digital print)
84 x 60 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Penelope

2015
Mixed media (Oil on plexi with archival digital print)
84 x 60 inches

2015
Found object, wood
84 x 60 x 30 inches -  Marc Straus Gallery
Branch Dress

2015
Found object, wood
84 x 60 x 30 inches

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