Shayne Murphy (Texas) envelops his figures in crisp, kimono-like folds that give the works the formality of ritual. It is in fact ritual that lies at the heart of Murphy’s compositions. As a trained graphic designer, the process of creating balance within his work is a careful dance of additions and subtractions. How Murphy uses the negative space becomes just as important as the primary subject matter. Shape becomes a living, breathing entity in these works. A finely rendered portrait of a black bag floating in space will give the hint of a human presence and with it an implied darkness that is never fully explained. It is this mystery that also lends itself to the feeling that the viewer is witnessing a moment, of magic.
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