Friday, 7 December 2012

Straight Road - recent artworks by Anthony Murphy at Christophe Edwards & Andrew Webb until 15th December

If you go down to Core One today you’ll be sure of a big surprise. The Core One gasworks is one of the few undiscovered hideaways of good quality art and design in London. It’s like Pimlico Road plonked into an industrial wasteland owing more to Blair-Bush Baghdad than Fulham. You would probably never find it unless you’re in the know. This is the hangout of about 10 dealers all with unique, high-quality tastes. If it weren't so far off the beaten track I'm sure it would have citywide renown as the ‘place-to-be’ outside of central London. I am there for an exhibition of recent work by artist Anthony Murphy.

Murphy is a man of three lives. Having won an Emmy in his early teens for playing the lead in Tom Brown’s schooldays Anthony shrugged off the famous rump roasting scene and forged a successful career as a corporate lawyer before settling in France with his paintbrush. He’s sharp as flint, with the same natural capacity for starting fires. Sat centre stage, engulfed in sofa and friends, Anthony views his crowd with the same suspicion they afford his paintings. Strains of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas are swiftly drowned when a third glass of wine lets loose uproarious tales of Murphy and Co.’s misspent youth. Reminiscing by Giles Roe Esq., an old chum from the student days, was priceless. He got the whole gallery singing along to such classics as “when you’re feeling glum, stick a finger up your…” before diving to the floor after an imaginary budgerigar in one of those jokes that you probably had to be there to get. All in all, last night’s hilarious proceedings at Core One succeeded in putting a fat middle finger up to all the usual art world pretentions.

On to the art! Anthony’s work covers the usual artistic concerns - beauty, sadness, nature, nymphomania and transgender angst. What he lacks in traditional draughtsmanship he makes up for in painterly style, daubing his oils onto the canvas; breaking straight lines into successive broad dabs. His technique and tendency to use vivid reds and oranges reminds me of tasty, exotic Moroccan souks. I would recommend checking out this Swanky Online Catalogue produced by the gallery to get a real idea for the way Murphy flicks between landscapes, situations, nudes and more. Whilst I would normally err away from deciding upon an 'overriding theme' as so many other writers do, these works are so disparate that I feel compelled to. In my humble opinion, which really should be better informed by the artist, these works are joined by their collective mission to give pleasure to both the artist and their future owner. They represent the efforts of a man who came to his craft much later than most; a man who was not bent into shape by art schools, nor tied to the commercial demands of contemporary gallerists. These works represent the wide-awake thoughts and dead-to-the-world daydreams of a man who loves to paint. 

As a final side note the painting of blue trees lining a road at the top of this post is titled The Road to Montsegur. It is the same French village that Mildred Bendall, of my last post, lived and died in.

Useful Links For More Info:
Swanky Online Catalogue

1 comment:

  1. A spookily uncanny observation of the artist! Also of the jester in charge of entertainment... One felt as though you had known Murphy all your life and you describe the evening with a sharp and lively eye! Well done....