Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fractured Reflections from Bygone Days

Chomp (2011) by Christopher Murphy

Do you ever look back at your youthful days and shudder with embarrassment at the stupid things you did? Or recoil with chagrin at the awkward situations in which you got involved? When your mom or an elderly aunt opens up her photo album from the days of your childhood, does it feel like they are about to reveal conclusive evidence of your undeniable folly? That's the type of vibe that I get from Christopher Murphy's exhibit "Forget That You Were Young" showing at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery in Bergamot Station.

These paintings capture life's absurdities, moments that the subject might prefer letting slip away into the fog of distant memory. After all, would we really want that time we took a hammer to a beehive to be documented for future mockery? Or how about that time you botched an attempt for the "Coolest Dive Ever" and the photo snapped just as you realized it wasn't going as planned? Or just being wildly inappropriately dressed for the situation?

Future Vegetarian (2011) by Christopher Murphy

Yet, there is a nostalgia to these images. They may be depicting times and situations that we wish didn't happen, but, since they did, are they really better off forgotten? Aren't the humiliating moments of our lives part of that which built our character?

Recognizing those moments of our lives that didn't go as we'd like and coming to peace with them is part of living a life of authenticity. Yeah, we may wish that we had not drank from the droppings-filled water of the bird bath, but it was a "learning" experience. ;-)

More Than a Bird Bath (2011) by Christopher Murphy

This is a delightful and poignant show. The paintings and drawings are all of superb composition and execution. The images are engaging and give a visceral tug of humor and empathetic discomfiture. I highly recommend it.

Christopher Murphy's "Forget That You Were Young" at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery until 10/22.


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