Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Michael Murphy’s Re-Imagined Mid-Cent Architecture and the Sky Surrounding

Michael Murphy - Structure 2 Division 31, Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Murphy – Station No. 6 C, Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Murphy will be showing a new body of work titled Desert Layover at La Luz de Jesus in Los Angeles, opening on Friday, August 5. Also showing with Murphy are Juan Muniz, Jasmine Worth, Maryrose Crook, and Bunnie Reiss. The show reception opens at 8 PM and features a live set by Maryrose Crook’s band, The Renderers. All five artists’ pieces remain on display through August 28.

Michael Murphy’s works are inspired by architecture, both built, and imagined. Educated and trained as an architect, he has taken a professional detour, re-imagining the built landscape via personal design studies and various avenues of rendering.

Murphy is originally from San Francisco and having spent many years living in London, England he developed an acute desire to interpret to the vastness and solitude of the California deserts and interject it with a personal interpretation of modern architecture and memory.

Upon returning to San Francisco in 2008, Michael continued this endeavor and was able to reabsorb the influences of the built environment around us firsthand, particularly in Southern California, and present his interpretations via varied rendering styles and sometimes scaleless environments coupled with a non-cynical acknowledgment of American consumerism.

One can’t help notice the vast and colorful skies in Murphy’s paintings which are as essential to his pieces as are his structures. We asked Murphy about this and he told us:

The sky plays an important role it the composition. What I’m trying to get across in each image is essentially a piece of architecture set in the vastness a space; not outer space but the space offered by a desert type landscape. This also allows me to experiment with architectural design strategies in terms of how does the building interact with the landscape, how does one approach the structure, what does one see when approaching, and what lies beyond, which is usually nothing. So, the breadth of the skies I think helps to reinforce these concepts.

Michael Murphy - Structure 2 Division 31, Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Murphy – Structure 2 Division 31, Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Murphy - Bonanza Airlines No. 2, Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Murphy – Bonanza Airlines No. 2, Acrylic on Canvas

And, just as essential, the gray skies in Murphy’s “Dingbat” paintings…

Regarding the gradated skies in the Dingbat series, I departed from the more vivid color expressions mainly because I wanted the viewer to see the architecture in it’s purest elevational glory. These facades show a great understanding of the tenets of Modern architecture- proportion, pure geometries, utility- and I think that introducing color into the background would distract from my appreciation and presentation of the architecture.

Michael Murphy - LA Dingbat No 2, Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Murphy – LA Dingbat No 2, Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Murphy - LA Dingbat No. 1, Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Murphy – LA Dingbat No. 1, Acrylic on Canvas

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