drawing

Congratulations to Olivia Colman

I am incredibly pleased that Olivia Colman won best actress at the Oscars a while ago. The Favourite is a great film, and Olivia is seriously the loveliest, and most down-to-earth person I’ve ever met.

In 2017 she commissioned this portrait of her and her husband Ed, and they were both such a pleasure to draw. I went to their house a few times, and took photos of them, as well as objects and patterns from throughout their house that had some sentimental value to them. I then combined all of these elements into the artwork below.

Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman Commission

 

If you haven’t seen Olivia’s acceptance speech you should definitely watch it, as it proves how truly lovely she is in real life.

For more portrait commissions, check out this Portrait of Ingrid, or this Portrait of Novelist Nick Harkaway

Printing Process Video

I am very happy to announce that my newest print Envy For The Living sold out in just 24 hours! It sold out so fast that I didn’t have a chance to blog this printing process video, which was expertly made by Nick JS Thompson.

I’d like to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who bought one, and I’m sorry to anyone who missed out. My next print release won’t be for a while, but if you’d like to be the first to hear of any new releases, please sign up to my mailing list at the top right of this page.

I spent days drawing and carving the image into a sheet of birch, and weeks carving out the negative space. I am very grateful for the print studio at the university where I lecture (University of the Arts London) allowing me to use this incredible Columbian press from the early 1900s.

To see the finished print, please click this link

Envy For The Living – NEW PRINT RELEASE (now sold out)

It has been four years since I released my last woodcut, which proved to be my most popular print to date. I’m very excited to announce that my newest woodcut ENVY FOR THE LIVING is available NOW!

ENVY FOR THE LIVING is a woodcut, which has been hand drawn, cut, and printed by myself, using a Columbian printing press from the early 1900s.

It is printed on the highest quality Norfolk 210gsm Cartridge paper, using archival oil-based printmaking inks.
In a limited edition of only 15

envy for the living

Within the print, I have included background references to Henri Matisse, Vanitas Painting, Ancient Greek sculpture, Piet Mondrian, and Bas Jan Ader. As usual, the title is taken from a work of classic literature, this time from Lev Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

 

To purchase please [CLICK HERE]

I was also recently included in Stylist Magazine’s list of hot new art prints, with my linoprint from 2018 Hamartia (Sold Out).

envy for the living

Hamartia – Stylist Magazine 2019

Faded Glory – Two Person Show in San Francisco

Faded Glory – With Nick JS Thompson

Faded Glory - Benjamin Murphy & Nick JS Thompson

Faded Glory install shots

My most recent show was a two-person show with my friend and long-time collaborator Nick JS Thompson. For FADED GLORY, we decided to approach the show with a strong curatorial vision, hanging the heterogenous works experimentally, so as to combine Nick’s photography with my paintings. The show opened at Book & Job gallery in San Francisco on the 7th of February in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.

We made the decision early on to both work in black and white and only on paper. We also decided to focus on interiors, with a strong pattern-based approach – many of the work featured plants and fabric patterns, but with no figures.

As well as this, we decided not to frame any of the works, and to affix them directly to the walls of the gallery, so that there would be as few constraints as possible in terms of combining works, and allowing them to disrupt one another. We wanted the effect to be one that is somewhat jarring, as if the works fit together, but only by altering each other quite aggressively. We made the works with the other in mind, but we didn’t make them together, and we didn’t plan how they wee going to interact when we were making them.

Faded Glory - Benjamin Murphy & Nick JS Thompson

Faded Glory install shots

Face Value 3

Overall, I very much enjoyed the process of allowing my works to be so drastically altered, but perhaps only because I trusted the person doing the alterations. I am taking part in another show in April entitled Face Value 3, which is curated by Mizog Art’s founder Gary Mansfield. (I was recently interviewed on the Mizog Art podcast, which you can listen to HERE). In this show, which is in aid of the Katie Piper Foundation, I will be donating a work which will be altered by another artist, as well as altering a piece by Jessica Albarn. This show opens on the 18th of April at Jealous Gallery.

 

For more photos of exhibitions I’ve had recently, check out my show Trinity at The Saatchi Gallery, which is still up.

Mizog Art Podcast

I was very happy to have been invited by Gary Mansfield to guest on the Mizog Art podcast. My episode has just been released, so have a listen if you want to hear me waffle on about art for an hour.

Mizog art podcast

Mizog Art

During our conversation, we discuss such themes as:

Delphian Gallery, and why myself and Nick JS Thompson decided to start a gallery; My shows at The Saatchi Gallery, Mine and Nick’s show at Book & Job Gallery in California, the Stamford Prison Experiment, Marina Abramovic, Jeremy Deller, and lots of other art and non-art related things.

If you’d like to check it out, you can do so

[HERE]

Please SHARE it like crazy, and let me know what you think.

xx

Trinity – Saatchi Gallery

My upcoming show Trinity at the Saatchi Gallery is quickly approaching, and I have one work still to finish. My newest piece Safe Word is below, and was completed this week.

SAFEWORD for Trinity at the Saatchi Gallery

SAFEWORD for Trinity at the Saatchi Gallery

 

This piece is 30x40x4cm, black electrical tape on glass, encased in clear resin and framed in a hand-carved solid birch frame.

I will be presenting 9 new works, and taping all over the walls and pillars.

 

To see more of my works for the show check out this post.

December Saatchi Gallery Exhibition

This December I have another exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery, which will be my fourth there overall, and my third this year.

For this show, I am taking over two walls in their Prints & Editions gallery and taping all over the walls before hanging artworks on top. I will also present some of my ceramic sculptures there for the first time.

Below are some of the works I have created for the show. 

saatchi gallery Oona(AfterMatisse)

Oona(AfterMatisse)

 

The first piece is this Matisse-inspired work, the pose for which is taken from Matisse’s Blue Nude. (Below)

saatchi Blue Nude - Matisse

Blue Nude – Matisse

This is the first time I’ve had a model recreate a pose from an existing artwork, which made the whole thing loads easier to draw. I definitely plan on doing more of these portraits inspired by the greats, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

 

As well as this piece, another new work for the show is this three-layered tape drawing below. I don’t have a title for this one yet, so let me know if you have any ideas for what I should call it.

saatchi gallery still life

Untitled Still Life

 

This still life is a three-layered work, so the foreground flowers were done on one layer of glass, the vase and mid-level flowers on another, and the background on a third. Once I’ve done the tape drawing on the glass I encase the whole thing in a clear resin (just to preserve the tape), and paint white anything within the boundaries of what I want to be opaque, so you can’t see the middle layer through the flowers on the first layer etc. 

The little bust you can see is a portrait of Leo Tolstoy, just because he is great.

For more of my works at the Saatchi Gallery, go HERE

And to see how I plan to tape up the walls, go HERE

And for the Saatchi Gallery’s official website, go HERE

Hanging Experiments

I have recently been playing around with new ways to hang works, by mixing up how I play around with the tape in the frame and the tape on the wall. Below is my most recent of the hanging experiments, in which I have draw a flat pattern onto a wall as if it is wallpaper, and then hung the framed works on top of it.

hanging experiments

Semi-Skimmed Gallery (September 2018)

Other hanging experiments can be seen in these posts from my solo show at Beers Contemporary in January 2016, and this other drawing I did on the walls of the Tate Modern in December of 2016.

Before I have either continued the drawings onto the walls, beyond the confines of their frames, or made original drawings onto the walls themselves. I am experimenting now with paring this all back, and taping only flat patterns on which to hang the works.

hanging experiments

Delphian Gallery (July 2018)

I think this is a much more successful way of displaying the works than the ways I have done it in the past, and I look forward to playing around with it more in my upcoming shows.

Below are two of the works hung over the pattern in the first photo (both now sold).

hanging experiment

Ink on paper, in hand-carved solid birch frame

hanging experiment

electrical tape on single microscope slide

Jealous Needs You and 30X30 at the Saatchi Gallery

JEALOUS NEEDS YOU

I was recently invited to take part in the annual JNY project, in which 30 artists each released a print which was printed by Jealous Gallery. Each was an edition of 36, and mine was a three-layer screen print of one of my most popular works to date, Ophelia. The original was inspired by the character of the same name from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and is an A4 black electrical tape painting on glass, which I then encased in resin and framed. It was shown at my fifth solo show Lavish Entropy with Delphian Gallery in July.

I absolutely LOVE how they printed these, with a subtle grey layer to delineate the shadows under where the tape is on the original, and a gloss white layer on the flowers. I was very happy to have been invited to take part in this project again, as I had such great feedback about my print from the project a few years ago.

Jealous benjamin murphy saatchi

SAATCHI GALLERY

After shows in both Jealous galleries, these prints went on to be exhibited for a whole month at The Saatchi Gallery, in their Prints & Originals room. It was incredible to show at the Saatchi again, as it’s one of my favourite London Galleries. They also shared my piece on their Instagram account and in their mailinglist, which was flattering.

PRINTS

I have held back a batch of these prints and will be making them available for sale just before Christmas. Email info@benjaminmurphy.info to add yourself to the waiting list if you would like one.

 

Big thanks to Dario, Louise, Nick, as well as Paul at The Saatchi for making this happen again. 

Lavish Entropy Photos

I have just realised that I never posted photos of my last solo show Lavish Entropy with Delphian Gallery, so here they are below.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Delphian Gallery team for everything. Andrew Salgado for writing the amazing catalogue text. Old Blue Last Beer for supplying the drinks for the opening party. And everyone else who visited, bought works, or blogged about the show.

lavish entropy benjamin murphy lavish entropy benjamin murphy

 

Benjamin Murphy