Christopher Murphy creates bold and colorful abstract paintings that go beyond pure design to explore contemporary culture and the collective human experience.
A recognized artist, Murphy has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the southeast. Most recently taking 1st place in College of Charleston’s “Battle Royale” and 1st place in the annual Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibition. He is also known for his involvement in the arts community through charity events and teaching at notable institutions such as Redux Contemporary Art Center and the Citadel.
For Murphy, abstract art doesn’t hinder communication – it’s a more compelling way to portray subjects and express ideas. The initial ambiguity of the image prevents instant identification and interpretation by the viewer. That invites them to explore the work on a deeper level.
“When I first began painting , my work was more about process and composition, amorphous shapes and bold colors. Yet, there was a distance , or a disconnection between my work and the viewer. I needed a way to express the human experience through my painting. I wanted to bring the humanity back into my work.”
It’s on this deeper level, that Murphy’s paintings communicate so effectively. His work relies on the visual metaphor. Recent developments in cognitive theory help explain that the best abstract art operates at a symbolic level. It speaks a visual language we share unconsciously.
“Christopher Murphy creates another world with his art. In his world, color, form, and line have no rules to follow. Found objects become part of the canvas and contribute to the final piece of work as much as the paint itself.”
Vikki Matsis; The Post and Courier
Murphy’s love of art and passion for creating has always been with him. From his earliest days growing up in Florida, he showed a natural ability in the visual arts. His parents encouraged him and by his senior year of high school, he had won several state art competitions. His hard work led to a major scholarship from the Columbus College of Art and Design.
At CCAD, Murphy excitedly explored the possibilities open to him within the different fields of art. Ultimately he discovered painting to be his true passion. Even so, the explorer in him compelled him to incorporate drawing, printmaking, and collage in his works.
After graduating in 1992 with a BFA he returned home to Orlando. Though he worked, like many artists, in related fields to keep a paycheck coming, he painted tirelessly, and exhibited his work at every opportunity. In time, he decided the next phase of his career would best be served by returning to school.
In 2005, Murphy enrolled in Graduate School at Georgia Southern University. While continuing to study painting he also taught college level courses as a graduate assistant for the art department. While in school he continued to show his work throughout the southeast. In 2007, Murphy was awarded his MFA.
After earning his Master of Fine Arts degree, intuition led Murphy to move to Charleston. On earlier visits, he sensed the vitality of the city and its natural surroundings. The move has proved sound. Murphy has found in Charleston a significant interest in art and a community willing and ready to join with artists to explore new forms of creative expression.