CHASE YOUNG GALLERY
450 Harrison Ave, No. 57  Boston   MA   02118    617-859-7222
Pamela Murphy - Artist Statement

IMAGES | STATEMENT | RESUME

 

I collect old photographs and choose figures from them for my paintings. The people whose lives are recorded in those pictures are strangers, yet they are familiar to all of us and remind us of ourselves and our families. Many layers of paint reveal the history of the canvas and create a space that serves to isolate the form of each figure. My subjects have been disconnected from their original context and are recreated as icons for the viewer's personal connection. Each viewer brings with them their own specific history, so a single image can mean different things to different people. The figures in my paintings exist in situations-or as objects-in which I hope the viewer will find a little of themselves.

In some of my new work, I focus on animals and old barns and houses rather than people. In some of those paintings I use silhouette to explore another facet of form. The solid, simple, black shapes convey a surprising amount of information and can be read either as negative space or as positive and dimensional. They are a strong visual contrast to the distressed and textured background; the detailed linear elements of the botanical transfers; the areas of bright color and gold leaf; all of which combined offer the viewer a visually rich and interesting surface with potential narrative content.