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Flesh and Vegetation Celebrates the Female at Bordello Galeria



By Kenley Beecher

Flesh and Vegetation, an exhibit of paintings by Boston artist Christus Murphy, opens on March 23 at the Bordello Galeria.

The exhibition will include oil paintings of figures, landscapes, and florals. On Sunday, March 24, at 5pm, the artist will give a talk focusing on the inspiration for and techniques of some of his paintings.

Christus has been painting since he was very young, his talents having been recognized before he was eight years old. As a young man, he studied at Massachusetts College of Art, where his professor, Laurence Kuperman, introduced him to the Boston art scene. There he exhibited at the Carl Siembab Gallery during the 1950s. In his twenties, he traveled to Italy, where he painted for a year and then went to Spain, where he had a successful show in the Canary Islands. Returning from Europe, he went through a period of artistic frustration, during which he burned most of his remaining work. He then spent the next 17 years as one of Boston’s top illustrators but left the world of advertising in 1976 to follow his heart and return to full-time painting.

Since then, he has painted in Romania, Greece, the US, and, as of January 1, San Miguel de Allende.

In 1995, he was welcomed into the vibrant Richmond, Virginia, art scene by former San Miguel resident, Martha Mabey, who at that time was owner of the Martha Mabey Gallery.

“It is impossible to be in the presence of paintings by Christus Murphy without having an emotional reaction,” Mabey says. “Vitality and appreciation of life permeate each of his paintings. In his hand, oil paint becomes alive. It flows. It moves. It curves, swishes, and dances.”

“My purpose as an artist,” Murphy says, “is not primarily to express feelings and emotions but to generate them in the viewer.” The way paint goes on the canvas is so important.”

In describing Christus’s paintings of the female figure, Mabey adds, “Murphy’s female figures are more abstract than realistic, distorted in an almost organic way that only enhances their eroticism. It is impossible to be neutral about them. They elicit an intense response.”

In all of Murphy’s paintings—whether landscapes, florals, or nudes—he expresses deep reverence for the female.

“I try in my work to generate such feelings as the loneliness we experience when the vibrancy and magic of life is shut out, the frustration and turmoil we feel when our needs and desires are in conflict, the terror we know when we are confronted by our own mortality—or just the feelings that we have when we look at what is before us and get that rush,” Christus says about his work.

The exhibition will continue until April 13. Please join us at the Bordello Galeria, Casa de la Noche, Organos 19, for these exciting events.


Art Opening

Flesh and Vegetation

Work by Christus Murphy

Sat, Mar 23, 5–8pm

Bordello Galeria

Organos 19, Casa de la Noche

Exhibition ends April 13


Artist’s Talk

By Christus Murphy

Sun, Mar 24, 5pm

Bordello Galeria

Organos 19, Casa de la Noche


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