Recently I’ve been experimenting witch creating smaller tape drawings whilst trying to preserve the new level of detail I’ve been doing. Partially because they are challenging, but also because they are easier to transport.
Towards the end of February I will be exhibiting at Subliminal Projects in LA, and some of these new smaller tape drawings will be going there. This one has sold already though and won’t be.
Beers London is proud to present Gilded Chaos, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with the London-based Benjamin Murphy. Murphy will spend two weeks prior to the exhibition, transforming the entire gallery space with his trademark aesthetic and techniques to create a totally immersive sensory experience. Murphy has created his most labour intensive and detailed body of work especially for Beers gallery. This includes a gallery-wide installation and two-dimensional, ‘drawings’ that push the boundaries of both scale and subject matter.
Murphy is known primarily for his graphic, time-consuming installations created entirely out of black electrical tape, resulting in a stark recognisable aesthetic. This is borrowed from German expressionism, which in turn creates a subject matter that takes inspiration from Romantic literature and the history of the vanitas in art.
The artist lives in London, where he tirelessly works both in and out of studio to plan and execute elaborate tape-based drawings. Murphy’s images work on many plains of perspective and contain various contradictory elements that contain an on-going narrative or macabre. A decadent story-arc is hinted throughout, with the work referencing a range of sources mainly from poetry and classic literature, specifically creating a mystical aura around the work and allowing the spectator to create their own meaning surrounding the work.
Above – After The Day After (2015) Electrical tape on glass
Gilded Chaos opens in just under two weeks. Here are ‘In Their Entrails’ (top) and ‘For Broadmoor’ (bottom) Click photos to enlarge. All works will be new electrical tape drawings, created in 2015, never before exhibited.
Private View – 6pm-9pm January 14th BEERS Contemporary Near Old Street Tube in East London. The show then runs until the 13th of February.
Rooms Magazine asked me to curate a show with them, the first in their series of many. I chose the photographer (and good friend of mine) Nick JS Thompson, and his series of works documenting the dereliction and destruction of the Brutalist housing project The Heygate Estate in South London.
The show opens this Thursday at Hundred Years Gallery in Hoxton.
The estate, left empty for 7 years after the 3,000 residents were “decanted” is now being regenerated although only 3% of the new homes will be available for social renting. This disparity in planned housing echoes what is happening across much of London.
The Brutalist architecture of the Heygate, which was completed in 1974, was hailed as a new modern style of living. This perception changed over time and towards the end of the Estate’s life it became renowned for crime, and dilapidation. The residents of Heygate have been rehomed due to this new construction project, which adds to the increasing gentrification of the area.
Many architects, planners and professionals have analysed the site over the years and many came to the conclusion that it could easily be regenerated (for less than demolishing and starting again)using the existing, structurally sound buildings. One previous estimate of what it would cost to refurbish the Heygate Estate to a modern standard was £35m. The cost of evicting the residents for Southwark Council was £65.5m and the site was sold for £55m but Lend Lease (the developers) are expected to make a profit of £195m from the sale of new flats.
The Heygate Estate’s fate differs greatly from the fortunes of other Brutalist housing projects such as The Barbican or Trellick Tower, which have both been awarded Grade II listing status.
Yesterday I was involved in two charity exhibitions for some great causes.
The first was in aid of Reprieve and was hosted at The Wallace Collection in London. There was only two artworks in the auction, a ceramic man by Grayson Perry, and a portrait by myself.Mine raised £2500 for the charity.
The second was in aid of The Hepatitis C Trust and hosted at Soho Revue. Art On A Postcard had works from some amazing artists, including:
Peter Blake, The Chapman Brothers, Michael Craig-Martin, David Shrigley, Andrew Salgado, Julian Opie, Polly Morgan, Harland Miller, Bob and Roberta Smith, Rowan Newton, David Bray, Ryca, and LOADS more.
This one is still open, and the works are viewable/ buyable online at this link: