Introducing Brendan Murphy
Brendan Murphy is a man of many talents. As well as being a world-renowned artist, he’s the founder of athletic wear brand Solfire, social activist, and previously worked as both a pro basketball player and Wall Street trader. Born in Bloomington in Indiana, Murphy began his artistic career in New York City and cut his teeth by mentoring under the famous painters Eric Fischl, David Salle, and Ross Bleckner.
“I was fortunate that I had friends who were very famous painters, Eric Fischl for example,” Murphy recently told Forbes. “I would hit tennis balls with him in exchange to go to his studio to see his work. Also, David Salle and Robert Bleckner, I got a crash course with two or three of the best painters in the world and I began to experiment with different materials and that just kickstarted the entire process.”
The next step for Murphy was opening a studio in Brooklyn and pushing his creativity to new limits by experimenting with different forms including sculpture, concept pieces and a huge variety of techniques, tools and materials. His own distinctive style is influenced by his painterly background, but also by more abstract concepts such as equations which frequently feature in his work no doubt inspired by his Wall Street experiences.
In pieces like “Passion 22” and “Desire Moments” Murphy juxtaposes scraps of formulae and apparent calculations with bursts of human emotion, depicted as scrawlings on a chalkboard. The overall impression is of someone who is questioning life from all its angles, and trying to make sense of human existence as a holistic whole.
In another iconic canvas entitled “Rock N Roll” Murphy mixes the modern obsession with sneakers with complex formulae and intransient concepts like “magic” and “mystery”. Reminiscent of Basquiat’s canvases, in Murphy’s work there is constantly a sense of something profound being worked out in his art, a solution or reality that inspires the viewer to go deeper and examine their own emotions.
“My work has a lot going on,” explains Murphy, “so I think people do have to spend a lot of time observing and dissecting what’s in front of them. I want the viewer to feel inspired and more in tune with their emotions. I hope people look at my work and feel encouraged to embrace the unknown.”
Today Murphy is based out of his studios in Malibu and Miami with work currently represented in more than 600 collections worldwide including those owned by Giorgio Armani, Serena Williams, Larry Page and Novak Djokovic.