News and Trends

John Murray

With this month’s April Art issue hitting the shelves, the HL team has been on the lookout for exciting, local creative talent. We asked Joburg curator Kim Stern for her selection of top up-and-coming South African artists. Here we chat with John MurrayWhat art do you produce? My primary medium is painting, but I also work with charcoal. What and who are your influences? I have an affinity for things that are discarded or textured by age. I collect small ceramic shards that I pick up on the beach. I like the details and patterns on them. They remind me of the transience of things. I also like the boldness, humour and abstract qualities in the work of the Dutch painter, Jan Roeland. What is the main thrust/ message behind your art? I am becoming more interested in abstraction. I think our world is increasingly shaped by the cold, rational constructs of science and technology. For me abstraction is a way of countering that. What is your biggest challenge as an artist, both in terms of  logistics and the message you are trying to convey? Time management, anxiety, small children and cash flow, to name a few. Tell us more about your past and upcoming exhibitions? I have an upcoming solo exhibition at Whatiftheworld Gallery in Cape Town. What do you think of the role of the artist in South Africa today? I think it depends on the artist and what kind of art they produce, but art and culture is vital for a vibrant, working democracy. Finally, if you weren’t an artist what would you be? I think it must be very fulfilling as an archaeologist to filter through the artifacts and remains of history. Keep an eye out for the rest of our artist Q+As coming up in April… For more information about John Murray's work visit Interviewed by Kim Grové