James Austin Murray is a New York painter who, for most of the last decade, has been exploring light in paint. Murray’s interests lie in the subtleties of reflected light but also in paint – they describe each other and he gets them to work together in a dance that is both science and art.
Murray’s works of black oil paint are an homage to the AbEx greats such as DeKooning, Rothko and of course Ad Reinhardt. Like these hero’s, he aspires and succeeds at painting paintings that do not translate fully to the photograph. His work is not about subtle nuance of color; it is about the changing surface of the paintings as the viewer moves around them.
In his own words: “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. 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.”
For more, visit: http://jamesaustinmurray.com or http://melissamorganfineart.com/artists/james-austin-murray