Houston-born artist Shayne Murphy blends realism and the abstract, with his oil paintings featuring explosions of graphite. Using sharpened backdrops and geometric flourishes, the artist tilts perspectives and toys further with reality. Murphy currently has a solo show titled “Fluorescent Gray” at Anya Tish Gallery in Houston, which runs through Nov. 12.
“The artist integrates the opposing pictorial languages of realistic figuration and sharp, flat, geometric forms in a seamless alliance, conceiving hazy, dreamlike, glacial spaces,” the gallery says. “Painstakingly perfect gradations of pigment, which could be mistaken for digitally rendered prints, live alongside smoky explosions of graphite that Murphy creates by hitting the tip of a pencil against the wood panel hundreds of times.”
When rendering landscapes, not figures, the artist carries this approach over with pops up of vibrant hues and stripes. These are ideas that the artist has pursued over the past few years, with his current working taking both a more stripped-down and nuanced approach. Murphy’s cohesive “Overture” towers in its scope and ability to blend its varying sections. “Offering” offers a similar subject and scene with a different perspective, with Murphy’s graphite portions created by “hitting the tip of a pencil against the wood panel hundreds of times.”