Artist Biography - Anthony Murphy
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1956 Anthony Murphy has lived and worked near Carcassonne, France since 1992.
Anthony Murphy has led the most varied of lives; he was a successful actor while still at school (receiving an Emmy award for his performance in ‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays’) before subsequently qualifying as a barrister.
However, the strain of artistic tal...ent runs strongly in his family, so it was natural for him to decide to express this. He began to paint “to relieve the boredom of corporate law.”
Murphy’s first painting exhibition in 1991 in London was a great success, and his colorful Gauguin-esque paintings became highly desirable. Since becoming a painter full time, he has been exhibiting on a regular basis over the last twenty years.
Simplistic in structure, Anthony chooses an array of subjects from townscapes to still life to people engaging in everyday activity. His work is mainly in oil and pastel; and is known predominantly for his French and Irish scenes and his skill as a colourist.
Some comments on his work:
"There is much about Anthony Murphy’s work for a modern art critic to despise.
His paintings are full of life and colour and energy. They are not impenetrable allegories about 18th century slavery or the oppression of the Ngo people. They are unrelated to the unspeakable calamities of the Turner Prize, or the car-crash that is the Tate Modern.
Simply, they are what they are: the work of a painter who passionately knows his art, who has carefully mastered the technical skills of drawing, of composition, of colour, and who understands how to create balance and poise in a single canvas.
More infuriating still for modernists, who so often depend on undisciplined self expression for their work, is the range of skills that enable him to paint portraits, landscapes, still life and abstracts.
These would be of astounding merit if he confined himself to one genre: but as this latest exhibition of his work once again reveals he achieves mastery of them all.
One is in no doubt here about the matching of intent and of outcome. There are no accidents in this process, merely artistic vision, creative purpose, technically accomplished execution and triumphant result."
Kevin Myers - Journalist.
"Murphy, either consciously or not, fits into the Irish and indeed the Anglo-Irish tradition. He is interested in people and their activities. He is interested in places. There is an element of toughness in his approach. He eschews the conventionally pretty. He is interested rather in structure and in the definition of form.
Living near Carcassonne, he responds to the warmth of the south, to the very Frenchness of France : its pollarded trees and waving shutters; its age and yet its timelessness; the churches round which gnarled villages cluster, the bridges that so often imply why these were settled in the first place.
The British have drawn and painted in France since the eighteenth century. But France is so varied that there is always something new to explore, something different to express. Murphy has both the intellectual astringency and the technical gift to do so."
Francis RUSSELL, Old Masters - Director, Christie’s London