Enjoy the engaging portfolio of artist TB Murphy, who is inspired by retro design and minimalism. See more of his work on his website.
I grew up in the Midwest in the sixties and seventies and was surrounded by Mid-Century modern furniture and the colors and design motifs of the era.
I became a big fan of MCM because I loved the simplicity and clean lines of the furniture. My interest in design was certainly influenced by the styles of the time.
I didn’t start creating art until about three years ago. The company I worked for was sold and shortly thereafter I was laid off. At that point I had the attitude that it’s “now or never,” so I began teaching myself the techniques and the software that I now use to create my pieces. Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise.
For inspiration, I researched my favorite designers and artists of the era. I was drawn to certain artists who appealed to my minimalist senses. Leon Polk Smith went to the top of my favorites list. He was a pioneer in the hard-edge style in which abrupt transitions are found between color areas.
The hard-edge style is related to geometric abstraction, which you will see in a lot of the works I’ve done. When I design art, in my mind I am picturing the ideal setting or space for that particular piece. I like to begin with the end in mind.
My goal is to create pieces that reflect my love of MCM furniture, Pop art, the Memphis Design Group and geometric abstract. I love bold colors and sharply contrasting color combinations.
I’m the opposite of an “art snob.” I believe that art is subject to one’s own tastes and perceptions. If you see something that “tickles your fancy” or makes you look twice and say to yourself, “I like what I see”, then it is art. Only the individual should decide what they consider as art.
At the end of the day, my pleasure and satisfaction as a creator comes from the idea that someone likes one of my pieces enough to hang it in their home. Now that’s cool!