Martha Murphy grew up in Massachusetts in a small town called Millis, and came to New York in 1979 for school. Upon graduating, she worked professionally for the City, writing and administering programs in economic development and housing. After a couple or years, she couldn’t get her head around leaving behind the visual beauty and historic evolution of New York City – what it is and what it can become.
As a self-trained painter, Murphy paints the urban environment that NYC holds. Selling her art on the streets since 2004, outside MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art and the American Folk Art Museum, she now sells and exhibits on every continent, including Antarctica since 2004.
Murphy’s first oil paintings of New York City was of the Chrysler Building, which she believes is a strong representation of her work. This painting shows her use of color and suggests the image by concentrating on a section of the building, rather than the whole thing. This well-known piece is now available as a poster.
Murphy has recently created a series of urban color patterns, which studies urban forms and architectural details of the city. She constructs paintings as a way of seeing how colors sit with each other. Her work evokes calm, which is a nice compliment from the elbow-to-elbow sidewalks and bumper-to-bumper streets.
“My success is largely because of your generous support and kindness, and it is with deep appreciation that I thank you.”
Murphy’s work is available for purchase at Mullaly’s 128 Studio & Gallery.