George Murphy was born in London in 1947. He received no formal training as an artist outside of the excellent instruction he had from his high school art teacher, and the example of his father, who painted on weekends. It was whilst attending the University of York that Murphy began to paint in oils, and he has continued to work in that medium and in watercolor until the present, developing and refining his technique as a “meticulous realist.” After a sojourn of three years, living and painting in Florence, Italy, Murphy settled on Nantucket, which became his year-round home for a quarter century.
In 2007, he moved to Harlem, New York, where he continues to work as an artist and writer. Murphy, ever playful as a serious artist, is best known for his small, closely rendered trompe l’oeil paintings on panel, often depicting solitary objects, as well as his fuller canvases and watercolors, which frequently contrast the formality of architectural detail with the organic lines of foliage and shadow. Every texture, every flake of paint or rusted nail – every nuance of light within shade – is cleanly and faithfully delineated. The result is a forceful but contemplative sense of the extraordinariness of the ordinary – of a timeless moment that is at once tangible and elusive.