An introduction can be a wonderful thing. You can meet interesting people, and make new friends. You can be introduced to your new favorite foods, books, music, or artist.
I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite artists. Some of whom I’ve been familiar with for years, and others I’ve only recently been introduced to.
The person I’d like to introduce is the artist James Austin Murray.
“I paint because it is how I justify my life. Nothing else seems to hold up. I love paint, I love the smell of oil paint and the warm buttery consistency it has while it’s being pushed along by the brush. I read something from an artist once, that paint is just colored mud. Very true. It’s as ancient as humanity, yet still an important part of it. One of my interests is how we have changed since the beginning of humanity. It is just one interest that interconnects with the seemingly disparate other interests that make up my painting focus.
My current work is both about the paint and the light that reflects on and in it. I consider light to be a material I work with much like paint is a material I work with. If you spend time with one of my paintings you might find yourself thinking about the light in the room, with you and that painting. You might find yourself thinking about what the painting might do in a room with more or less natural light. If you did find yourself thinking these things maybe you’d find yourself thinking about the light as you walk on the street, or the light in your home.
It’ s possible that you might start to wonder how we are affected by the light in our lives. Clearly plants are affected by light. Some need much more to survive than others, some will let their leaves change colors and fall away for the winter. Many animals mate to the cycle of the moonlight.
Are we also very affected by light? I suspect we are. Not only are we affected by light but approximately one hundred years ago we changed everything about the light in our lives. With the social introduction of electric lights we changed how we live. We divorced ourselves from aeons of lights natural rhythms.
Human females used to ovulate around the same time of the month because they were all subjected to the same light. In fact menstruate is a word that is derived from the word month. A word that in many languages is synonymous with moon.
Today we experience light differently than most of human history. Even our daylight hours differ in that we don’t have a set time when the world will get dark. All we have to do is flick a few switches and our wold is full of light, not the flickering dim light of a candle but the fully bright almost daylight of electric lights.
Back to paint, it’s the way paint plays with light that my focus. I use black paint. Black absorbs the entire spectrum of visible light leaving the oil in the paint to reflect the light in the room. You might wonder if this is all the work is about and you’d be right to wonder. Light is just one element and a starting point.”
James Austin Murray
December 2, 2013
New York City
Other material relating to James Austin Murray.
Artist website: jamesaustinmurray.com
Lyons Wier Gallery: April 3rd 2014 – May 3rd 2014 James Austin Murray
Studio Critical: James Austin Murray
Vimeo, Damien Hirst Protest: James Austin Murray
Art Orbiter: James Austin Murray
Youtube: James Austin Murray