The Unique Perceptual Art Of Michael Murphy

Called the pioneer of the Perceptual Art movement, Michael Murphy, an American artist, and sculptor, rose to fame after he created the first portrait of Barack Obama during the 2008 US presidential election. Such was the influence of this work that it started an ‘Art for Obama’ movement.

Murphy is renowned for his Perpetual shift series of 3D installations and for his anamorphic sculptures. He renders flat images into 3D, using multidimensional techniques. And the only way to fully appreciate his Perceptual art is to view it in location by walking around it. Murphy’s out of the box thinking, meticulous calculations and eye for detail are quite apparent in all his creations. It’s really amazing to find unorganized suspended pieces fall so neatly in place to form an outstanding piece of art.

Murphy, who was born in Youngstown, Ohio, USA, graduated in Fine Arts and took sculpture training from Kent State University, Ohio. He went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts in Art and Technology for The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA. Afterward, he pursued a teaching career for 12 years. Once he retired, he started devoting full time to his passion. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Although Murphy found fame through Obama’s portrait, he has created many mind-boggling works. Sample the unique portrait of his wife, Natasha, an immigrant. At 40 feet it looks like it has been created by dots of varying sizes on a canvas, but as you approach it, you realize there’s no canvas and those dots are actually wooden balls, 2,300 in all, suspended from the ceiling from varying heights and distances to make up her face! By creating this portrait, Murphy wanted to convey the positive contributions that immigrants make in his country.

It’s not surprising that Murphy’s works enjoy a global presence with numerous permanent installations around the world. His works have also featured in magazines, such as TIME, New York Magazine, to name a few. His clients include leading global brands, such as Nike, Google, LG, Lexus, The Jordan Brand, The Big Ten and many more.

Michael Murphy artist also enjoys a sizeable fan following on social media.



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The Immigrant This is a 3D halftone sculpture by Brooklyn-based artist Michael Murphy. When you view the 2,300 wood balls from forty feet away you see an image of Murphy’s partner Natasha Vladimirova. The work calls attention to the positive contributions immigrants make to our communities. Natasha is an immigrant and it is with her help that this piece was made possible. This tribute is intended to introduce positivity to a negative and overly politicized conversation. This piece and two others are currently on view at The Canvas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. The Canvas is open from 10 am to 8 pm seven days a week. It is free and open to the public. #perceptual_art #art #artistsofinstagram #beyondthestreets #beyondthestreetsnyc @instagram

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Model for Che’s son.

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