Benjamin Murphy is a visual artist who creates darkly alluring artworks using the esoteric medium of electrical tape. (Using just a roll of black electrical tape and a surgical scalpel, Murphy has created all of the works on this site).
Born in the tempestuous landscape of Yorkshire, Murphy started his art career at the same art college as Henry Moore, Damien Hirst, and Barbra Hepworth. Following this Murphy moved to the University of Salford where he attained first a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design and then a Master of Arts degree in contemporary fine art.
Most of the inspiration for the works comes mainly from poetry and classic literature, and many of his titles are lifted from such authors as; Plath, Poe, Beckett, Baudelaire, Camus, Nabokov, Borges, Steinbeck, Burgess, Heller, Bellow, and Amis.
His works are often un-posed portraits of a solitary figure situated within their homes, going about their daily lives with no concern for the viewers gaze. The backgrounds contain many elements that allude to hidden meanings, and he describes the still-lifes as a “zoomed-out vanitas”. Delicate and detailed floral patterns are prevalent throughout, and add fragility.
His works are ethereal and vague in what is depicted, often containing seemingly contradictory elements that combined with the use of perspective and the eyeless figures, creates a discordant feeling in the viewer.
His first ever sale was sold through Sotheby’s for Anti-Slavery international in 2012, and his first solo show Abandon All Hope came a few months later at Hoxton Gallery. Other career highlights include: In 2014 he exhibited at the Houses of Parliament in a charity auction in which Pablo Picasso was also involved, and at Whitfield fine art alongside Damien Hirst, Gilbert & George, Marc Quinn, and Cecily Brown.
In 2015 he exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in the Jealous 50×50 exhibition. In January 2016, his seventh solo show Gilded Chaos opened at Beers Contemporary gallery in London. Subliminal Projects in LA hosted his next show Class Acts in February, followed by another solo show Vile Oblivion at Creat Gallery in Helsinki, Finland. Towards the end of 2016, he exhibited at The Savoy Hotel, The Sanderson Hotel, and The Wallace Collection.
Since he started exhibitng in 2012 he has exhibited in: London, Amsterdam, New York, Ibiza, Berlin, Poland, Luxembourg, Koln, Helsinki, Pescara, Munich, Australia, and Milan.
With a keen interest in contemporary art theory and aesthetic philosophy, he also regularly writes about art for This Is Tomorrow, and After Nyne magazines.
Murphy is also the co-director of arts collective Delphian Gallery with his long-time collaborator Nick JS Thompson.