Why Benjamin Murphy?
From witty comments on customs postage stickers, to intricate murals drawn entirely with sticky tape, young Benjamin Murphy has been hitting the scene hard for a couple of years, and you’d be hard pushed to have avoided his work around Shoreditch so far this year.
The first piece we had the pleasure of seeing was in the Red Market in Shoreditch, which was when I took this photo. It was only on the second visit several weeks later that I realised that it was made entirely of sticky tape – clearly, my attention must have waned first time around, but that allowed me a whole new respect for the piece second time! Looking up AD/SO, I soon found out it was Benjamin Murphy’s alternative monicker. Over the proceeding months, a selection of fine pieces and colabs from Mr Murphy were widely distributed across East London, and he soon joined my list of “must contact” artists for ApieceAmonth.
Whilst I’m not entirely convinced by the concept of destiny, I was ready to spend a couple of hours to help decide who to approach for August, when after 2 minutes, this popped up…. Decision made!
Skeleton in Cigar Tin: Black & White Insulating Tape on Café Crème cigar tin, Dated inside, Signed on base, Edition of 1
About Benjamin Murphy
Email interview 17/08/13:
Thanks for the piece dude. You’ve got mad skills with sticky tape! How did it all start, were you always a creative kid?
You’re welcome man. Yeah, I used to make a lot of treehouses. Treehouse building is a useful skill to have in later life.
A lot of people might not know you’re the guy with the funny and thought-provoking messages on the square customs labels. It seems like there’s thousands of them out and about. Have you put out as many as it feels like, or is it just very careful placement?
It’s not very careful at all to be honest, I often see ones that I don’t remember writing or sticking. Maybe there’s an impostor masquerading as me out there somewhere?
The first piece I saw in the flesh was the octopus in the Red Gallery Market last year. Do you still use your AD/SO monicker, as all your work I’ve seen recently seems to have been credited to BM instead?
No I don’t really use it any more, it didn’t stay secret for long.
You manage to keep it consistently fresh. What inspires you?
Cézanne, Da Vinci, avocados, Woodman, Arbus, cats, caffeine, Steinbeck, hangovers, grapefruits, Nabokov, Rembrandt, Proust, Camus, Baudelaire, skateboarding, Ilkley.
I’ve seen colabs of yours including D7606 and 616 recently. Who else have you worked with? Anyone without numbers in their name?!
I’ve collaborated with Tek33 don’t forget haha.
I’ve collabbed with David Shillinglawless a few times, our work’s pretty different so it’s an interesting experiment.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
Carne Griffiths and Remi Rough would be an interesting threeway.
What’s next? Any more shows on the horizon or new projects to look out for?
Got a show in New York next month, I’m doing 11 brush and ink drawings for it. I’m exhibiting a lot of non-tape pieces at the moment, it’s interesting to mix it up a bit.
Thanks for your time dude, I’ll be sure to keep an eye open for news on the show. Keep up the great work.