A fascinating exhibition of realist still life, landscapes and surrealism by Michael Vincent Murphy is currently on show at Gallows Gallery.
The intriguing works draw as much on a dynamic imagination as they do on a highly accomplished stylisation, play of light and tones, and fine brushwork.
His pieces are structured yet strange, playful and brooding, vibrant and intricate, presenting subject matter in ever-changing settings and arrangements.
In spite of seemingly incongruent subject matter, his composition is impeccable, enticing the viewer to linger and ponder, appreciating his hyper-real and flawless depiction of both natural and man-made subjects.
He describes himself as a painter of imagined reality, and is constantly exploring variations in the still life genre, in particular the fall of light on objects and their spatial relationship to each other.
While his pieces sometimes have a Dali-esque look, they are generally more loosely based on the style of the Dutch and Flemish still life paintings of the 17th century.
Vermeer springs to mind, however Murphy’s paintings are executed in a way that gives them a more modern dimension and a slightly surreal quality.
“I never know how a painting will look until it is done, because ideas ebb and flow during the course of the work until, all of a sudden, it feels complete,” he says.
“This body of work continues my exploration of the still life, playing with the lighting and composition of imagined objects and their placement within a space.
“Some of the works depart from the strict sense of ‘objets immobiles’ or ‘nature morte’ by the inclusion of figures, animals and landscapes.
“In these works I have tried to engender the same sense of stillness that the other works possess, so as to place them loosely within the still life genre which is the main theme of the exhibition,” he adds.
Michael Vincent Murphy works have been exhibited in numerous Australian and international shows, and are represented in private collections in South Africa, England, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, US and Australia.
The Michael Vincent Murphy exhibition at Gallows Gallery runs until Sunday 16 July, 2017.
More information at www.gallowsgallery.com
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