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The Red Dress

“Mommy, do you know what that is?  It’s a girl, holding an umbrella, trying to open it in the wind and the rain.  And see that patch of blue in the corner?  That’s the rain.  It’s coming!”  This was said to me, quite out of the blue, by our six year old son in October 2017.  “Is it?”, I responded.  “Yes, it is”, he answered with absolute certainty along with a healthy mix of just-so-you-know attitude.  I stared for a while but couldn’t see what he could.  That is the crux of abstract art in general and Chris’ work in particular.  There are an infinite number of possible shapes and images in one of his works, and there is no “right” one.  Everyone who looks at one of his pieces has a unique experience, even if they come to similar conclusions.  In a figurative painting of, say, a tree, a person can look and admire it.  It may remind them of a favorite childhood tree or of the beauty of nature.  But Chris’ work involves more direct involvement since the viewer must actually decide what they are looking at.  It doesn’t even have to be an object; it could be something like anger or happiness.  It’s collaborative, an experience with the artist.  It’s a small journey, one worth going on again and again.  Some of his works have been hanging in our house for years and I am still finding bits that I’ve never noticed before.  The work hasn’t changed, my perspective on it has.  Amazing.

Below is the painting, “The Red Dress”.  It is absolutely one of my favorites.

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Vermeer, Picasso…Murphy?

It’s 2018 and, just in time for a New Year’s resolution, it’s a chance to begin a new good habit. Each month, I
will be updating this blog so that all of you can keep up with Chris’ latest work.  
Some of you may have already picked up on my use of pronouns and figured out that I am not Chris himself. 
I’m Kelley, his wife and partner in all things. To be clear, I have no artistic talent whatsoever, so I contribute to 
his career in other ways. Starting in 2018, I will be blogging, emailing, and helping Chris to create more of a 
presence online. I hope this blog prevents Chris from getting in line with so many other talented artists that 
died before people discovered them. It’s a sad story that has happened to far too many. They spend their lives 
creating and never giving up, never losing the drive to continue making art, despite little or no critical support.
And they are never discovered, never receive the acclaim they deserve while they live. Especially in this age of 
technology, it’s a needless tragedy. What would you say to a 
not-famous-when-s/he-was-alive-but-super-famous-now artist, if you somehow had the chance? What would 
you ask Vermeer, for example? (I’d probably go cliché and ask who the girl with the pearl earring was.) What 
about Picasso? Would Owen Wilson take a car back in time to buy 6 or 7 of Chris’ paintings? As cool as that 
seems (sort of), my goal is to promote Chris so that he can avoid this fate. Of course he’s nowhere near as 
famous as these greats, but we’d like to get him in as many homes as we can. We want to reach out and 
connect with people to make as many fans as possible. It would be really great if people simply rang our 
doorbell and asked if we happened to have any abstract art lying around that we were willing to sell, but that’s 
like a toddler willing to eat vegetables and go to bed on time; it doesn’t happen. So we’re trying this instead. 
Since you’re already here, feel free to click on the “Gallery” tab and see what’s new.  I’ve been admiring his 
work for more than 12 years and continue to be amazed, delighted, and inspired by it. Check it out! 
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Abstract art isn’t a comfy chair for you to relax in…

United Divide
United Divide

Abstract art can be challenging to the viewer. For some it is unsettling and confusing. For me it is exhilarating. I don’t feel a since of dread as some might. When I view an abstract painting that inspires me I embrace the unknown and revel in it’s bold complacency.

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Come out to the OPEN Arts Festival!

Christopher Murphy will be attending the festival this year as a representative of the Charleston Artist Collective. He will be exhibiting his artwork as well as demonstrating his painting process from 12 – 4 at the Cistern.

OPEN Arts Fest 2013


Fourth Annual OPEN Arts Expo

When: Sun., Sept. 8, 12-4 p.m.
Phone: (843) 577-5288
Price: Free

Charleston’s vibrant arts scene can be a bit overwhelming — it’s hard to keep track of all the groups, theater companies, and cultural organizations that make their home here. That’s part of why the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts hosts the OPEN Arts Festival, which brings them all together under one roof (make that sky — it’s held outside). “OPEN is the kickoff to the fall arts season in our community and celebrates local talent and creativity in a fun way open to everyone,” says Maggie Hendricks, executive director for the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts. More than three dozen organizations will attend, including local museums, art schools, and libraries, and there will also be live performances by musicians, actors, and storytellers. “We want people who have never had the opportunity or for whatever reason haven’t participated in the arts to come to OPEN, learn about our diverse arts community, and feel welcome to enjoy and support the arts throughout the year,” says Hendricks. —Corinne Boyer