About Steve Murphy

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In 1989, Steve Murphy began an investigation into sculpture, having primarily been a painter prior to this date. He found that simple iconic forms fabricated from or covered by materials that carry strong social associations, could produce powerful works. A body of work began that did not try to make a specific statement, but allowed the viewer to combine the elements from their own personal references - a more poetic approach to imagery.

One of the materials that Murphy experimented with had a particular fascination for him - barbed wire. It had many of the characteristics of his earlier paintings. It had a similar type of texture and he developed a similar approach to the application. The wire was wrapped layer upon layer in order to build up a strong textural surface, again, similar to the earlier paintings. It had the added qualities of multiple cultural association. Murphy wrapped the wire into simple geometric forms and then added smoothly finished wooden linear elements to balance the aggressive surface and mass of the wire forms. As these sculptures have evolved, he has begun to strip away the wire, to eliminate the heavy texture and express the underlying forms in other materials, to bring new associations to the work.


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