Imagine the amount of effort to cut electric plastic sticky black tape into undulating waves, the folds of elegant dresses, patterns on wallpaper, strings of pearls or other intricate shapes, a material which can provide a huge contrast between thick dense black stripes and more delicate intricate shapes. Benjamin Murphy uses black tape as his medium rather than pen or ink to give an intense colour whether in a framed painting or in the background stage-set on which the paintings are placed. He creates a world of black and white that has echoes of German Expressionism and indeed seems to hark back to the elegance and sinister complexity of that era. Elegant dresses and glasses of wine are intertwined with skulls and other symbols of death and graphic texts. Enjoyment today and payment tomorrow are intertwined in his work.
Murphy has taken over BEERS London with “Gilded Chaos”, a title that reflects the contradiction of the gilded life of the elegant women shown in his pictures with the dark world that surrounds them.