ARTIST OF THE WEEK #7 – NAT MURRAYOctober 15, 2014
Canadian artist, Nat Murray, paints brilliantly naïve and charming portraits of the people that inhabit his peculiar, fictitious universe. After years of teaching English around Asia before eventually settling in Taipei, Taiwan, Nat draws inspiration from the Taiwanese ‘Buxibans’, a type after-school club, where weary children are made to go for extracurricular study.
In his oil paintings, Nat uses the bare minimum to set the scene – creating an open space for the viewer to come up with their own narratives for the children and teaching staff of his imagined quasi-boarding school. The result is a celebration of the underdog – both in subject matter and execution – where you can almost feel the viscous battle he is waging with the pigment on the canvas, developing a style which combines candid honesty with unflinching integrity – inviting us into his complex world where we can’t help but smile as we step in, wipe our feet on the mat and take a good look around…
You can find Nat’s work inside SHEET: The UO Zine – available at your local UO store.
“When I first started trying to label my style, with regards to my work of the last few years, I wrote “post-slackerly Expressionism”, and then deleted it a few weeks later in favour of no label at all. I find it easier to identify my painting style with a certain lo-fi garage band indie musical style of the mid-late 90′s: technically simple and made with traditional tools, yet saying something of its day and relevant to everyday experience.” – Nat Murray