I'll base my comments on images from his website:http://www.martinmcmurray.com/These are beautiful works, with a real confidence behind the brushwork. The subject matter seems to me very serious a la Ben Shahn -- the beautiful awkwardness to the figuration and weightiness to the content. But what the hell are the car works? Some of them are funny but it seems like the work of someone who lost a great thread. I don't know his work so perhaps he's been making these along side the other works??
Roberta Smith NYtimes review
seems to be a bit of a recipe in painting right now - alineated often amputated figures floating in the doldrums of sparsely populated color fields,
gazinia - i love how you said it: beautiful awkwardness to the figuration and weightiness to the content. i agree. i like imagining here that the background paint is the same used for the baby, maybe just more washed out. it is as if the child is placed in a landscape he is a part of yet not at all. the future is bleak, maybe except for that crashing white wave, very scary.
this painting (i don't know his work) and painters like judith linheares, bring me back to a pre-art school kind of bewilderment of narrative in paintings, esp. around age 5-9. walking around cousins houses, in rec rooms, seeing roughly painted people with melancholia or some such subtle emotion. Creepiness abounds in rec rooms across america. I like it, this stuff, a lot.
I find these paintings a bit boring. Many of the figures have real presence, but none of the images are particularly memorable to me. They also remind me a lot of an illustrator named Mark Ulkrikson (I think thats his name) and so I keep feeling like the paintings should be explaining some sort of New Yorker article or something.
Illustrations for New Yorker articles is something that has a lot of cross-over into the art world, esp. as the New Yorker ills. get better and better. But I disagree with that description for this painter. These seem to tell more of a story than an illustration for an article. Yet I'll admit it's a fine line (I'm tempted to doubt myself.) I do think that the lesser works on his website in my opinion can fall into that category Palooka, but the better ones -- the ones with a settting for the figures (like this repro) don't.
I agree with that point Palooka...this painting I kinda like, but I think his weakness lies within the way he extracts a quick kind of character from the photographs he uses--this baby for instance, I imagine the photo it came from would be as interesting as his painting. the lying figure is a little more original maybe
Cooky,What makes you think he used a photo?W
ben shahn + leon golub, maybe? the figures don't seem to be interacting much with the landscapes or each other. seems to lack figurative purpose a little, like they're really formal paintings that involve people instead. even so, i really liked his last show and dig the updated-late-30s paint handling.
I would prefer if the top 1/4 of the painting wasn't there...Yesterday, I felt a lot like that baby.Today, I feel like that man.
iF i SEE ONE MORE PAINTING LIKE THIS i'LL AMPUTATE SOMEONE.gOT THE CAPS LOCK kEY ON FOR OTHER REASONS. bUT WHAT THE HELL, WHY NOT?sEE YTHE MAN'S SOUL ESCAPING FROM HIS PINEAL GLAND? i DO.mINES ARE A REAL PROBLEM, AND iM GLAD TO SEE SOMEONE ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE IN A PAINTING. tHE us SELLS A LOT OF THE MINES AND IF WE DIDNT DO IT SOMEONE ELSE WOULD. bUT WHAT WE NEED ARE SMARTER, CHEAPER, MINES.tHE ENEMY IS OUT THERE - THEY WANT A CALIPHATE, ACCORDING TO THE NEOCONS. AND I BELIEVE THEM.
so what do we think? is the "boom" here to stay - the prices of Art will forever go up, like NYC real estate?
mcmurray doesnt amutate to the degree others do, just a few decapitations on the website....and frankly its been happening for decades,from bellmar to now, in the artworld (if not earlier)... the thing is there are more mediocre artists with degrees out there who copy eachother... but which artist can decapitate or amputate the best, there've been many on this site- you judge who is best...which are contrived, etc...
those pictures of generals on his site and this baby to a smaller extant look like a photograph viewed through a glass paperweight--you know how its fun to look at pictures through it for a second because they start distorting--looks very much like that effect.
No Where Man:the prices on artworks have not been regulated unlike milk, oil,eggs, etc..; i.e,ArtistA's work are completely different that ArtistC's work for whatever reason; artists also would never unionize for equal pay for their artwork because they all have different skills and abilities, etc... there is no common price in this field because art is a unique product..what is happening is a sort of gambling through the auction house, by which collectors are buying/selling artwork in hopes of the value increasing over time... people (wealthy) may slow down purchasing to a degree or become more selective in their purchases over time... i guarantee many are buying'junk' and the value may drop totally or a huge percentage unlike real estate (unless something horrible happens to the land/area)i know 80s artist's prices have disintegrated or fallen greatly, even schnabel... there are so many more that this has happened to.,,.NY city real estate will never drop but plateau and the issue varies across the country/
"there is no common price in this field because art is a unique product"this seems the same with any part of entertainment or the luxury market no? - i guess in Art you have much higher chance of fools gold? i just thought trends went with the stock market which seems to not be happening now?
no-where-man,with visual art one is purchasing something tangible that can be held onto or sold... this is the 'security' a talented/marketed artist/dealer has in many fields ('unique' artwork cannot be outsourced)..in art, the trend you see has to do with one's discretionary income; that is, wealthly people are most likely purchasing art because they have more in their piggy banks these days and can do that (the rich ARE getting richer- that is a fact, for many reasons...)... also note that during times of recession the entertainment business does well, as well as the sex industry and alcohol...art falls in here somewhere ...depending on what kind of art you are talking about...
..and the stock market does reflect the artworld to a degree; the wealthy these days are benefiting from many fringe tax benefits from mr. bush ( artists don't like to think about that).the wealthy class can then invest in a variety of investments..i.e., real estate, properties of all sorts, etc.....only a small percentage of these works will have financial longevity
cheers to the health of entertainment. what factors do you think go into determining "financial longevity"? where i am confused is all of these kids who make it right out of school - all of the Artists i am really into and would consider purchasing (if/when i can) have a "Mythic" quality something beyond an institution, they seemed to be part of a driving whole.
'financial longevity'... 'quality'...i know i have my opinions towards what artwork will last...; there are many arenas in the visual arts... ...not sure what you mean by 'mythic quality'...i know that 'all those kids' that make it out of school is also a myth.. some get breaks and are truly talented but not mature yet...many, the majority, are not full-time artists... if that is what you mean by 'making it'... many end up working in the arts, though but end up not being 'artists/'painters' for many differeing reasons despite a few cool venues there work was in. this is a topic that i will refrain from expanding online...
I would be interested in your further explanations and appreciate your insight. Full time is also relative as to the amount of money the Artist starts out having, with the “on fire” market “boom” there conversely seems to be a sort of mass homogenization. Most cv’s of those just breaking are hot swappable(ish).
painterdog - i read your comment before you or whomever removed it. it maybe the unspoken truth.
painterdog, this is always the case and i wish artists realized this how money plays into the artworld more, many do not care and many come from money and have the luxury of not caring//being a capitalist myself , i wish people knew more about how money is distributed and how Capitilism has become unethical and has overstepped its bounderies .. and how 'we' are benefiting from it....yes, No Where Man, there is a homogenization, and part of it has to do with the teaching of art (so much more to say here)..i love dada, but note that the dadaists were academically trained/skilled 'craftsman' despite being 'anti-art' which is why there work transcends over time... it was absurdity conveyed poignantly! they had the talent and intelligence to do it well and 'pretend' not to care/ believed in it...i know that it is difficult to find 'artists' today, the education in art schools has turned into trade schools (at an average of $26,000 a year), which leaves the artist today limited and unskilled... also many most who go to art school are not 'artists'; that is, artists who are passionate and 'gifted'/do it full-time, etc without the parent's money- although i am not at all against an 'artist' who does come from money.......,...,...
oh painterdog,i read your comments as well,i wish you'd post it again..
I saw the comment too and I think it was deleted because it contained personal remarks. It was petty. The discussion of have money behind you is a good one but using certain individuals as examples is not fair. So many artists come from money.
...true, it is information one can figure out on their own...
epilepticadam, agreed on the Dadists, i feel the same about the girth of Pop Artists and there forerunners as well and i have a great deal of respect for skill and craft - perhaps for some it is a necessity for survival. i will drop it here but anyone who thinks conversations about those who have money and don't is "unfair" have money. vanity fair.
is this painting about diaspora?
I was gassing on about landmines - the reality is that landmines are a strategic weapon - they work BETTER when they just maim the enemy.Doctors, medical supplies, food for a non-worker - these are only a few of the resources that must be taken away from the war effort.A truly strong society kills its weak and a strong warrior understands that to be maimed is as good as being dead.In this light, the baby, missing one hand and a leg, should die, and the tide is coming in.
why do i get the feeling that this one armed one footed baby could kick the ass of anyone posting on this site--warrior-wise?
i can take candy from any one armed one footed baby
well I offended someone because I posted infromation about rich kids who make in NY with mommy and daddy's money.give me a break.this is petty?
paiterdog I dunno who was offended and Im not sure what you said exactly but if you look at most businesses they survive or profit through a subsidy of one form or another. Big oil and ("family") farming to name some off the top. On the smaller level I think you would find complex social networks holding most people afloat. The illusion of self sufficiency as presented by Horatio Alger or take you pick of conservatives who think poor people are lazy - is a lie, or at best a simplification.It isnt any different with art, and the richer your friends, the better your skills, the better your prices.I would kill that baby, because who wants a cripple?
Aimee Mullins is hot
This painter has earned every penny, and does not come from money.
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