The Tantric Pop Art of Julian Murphy

How we experience sexuality depends on our own cultural and personal references, sex is mainly a pleasure of the mind, the rest just comes natural, I guess. Sex is also something that dictates our every day behavior, the way we interact with our environment, and how our surrounding interacts with us, quite Freudian I know. But our old Sigmund, did have a point labeling the “sex drive” one of the most powerful internal forces present in the human mind, emerging to our conscious whenever the opportunity arises.

And in the mind of this artist it tends to happen quite often, everyday objects are transformed into lovemaking couples, torturing objects and fetish scenery. But buried beneath these, easy accessible ‘double images’, is also another, intriguing layer present. A critical view on our consuming ( sexual or not ) behavior and materialistic mentality, so typical for our modern western civilization.

Julian Murphy labels his own work as “Tantric Pop Art, a combination of eroticism and visual innuendo that emphasizes the life-confirming sexuality of our surroundings: in Murphy’s mind, it has been man’s subconscious that has shaped the artifacts, buildings and furniture which make up our environment and everyday world.” According to this statement the sexual message of an artifact works both ways, an object is created with a sexually charged form, intended or not, and the viewer can rebuild it again, in their mind, or in art.

Artistically, the work of Murphy is connected to Pop-art, you could label it Neo Pop-art quite easily if you like, but it also has strong influences from surrealism. The strong sexual aspect and the usage of the “double images” as described by André Breton. What you see first in these “double images” reveals something about your current state of mind. Freud used them to basically prove that sex is always popping up in our heads first. Or to describe it differently, our sexual drive, desire and frustrations, are always present in our subconscious, when we experience something that “triggers” it, it becomes active in our conscious. Murphy plays with this idea furthermore, adding his own “consuming based concept”, and lighthearted graphical style.

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