The painter

Photograph by Tim Roper.

Photograph by Tim Roper.

Emerson Murray

In 2009 I made a small series of inaction figures and in 2010 - 2012 I painted a series of word bubble rip-off paintings and film frame paintings.

I started the current series of figurative abstract paintings in 2013. I work in both acrylic and oil paint. I make my own oil paint from pigment.

I am not so concerned with light and shadow. I am primarily interested in exploring color, form, and depth.

My work deals with stories and secrets. Many of my paintings are nostalgic remembrances or sometimes elegies to the past. Other paintings create new mythology and legends, new characters from stories untold.

Thank you.


Selected solo shows:

2018 Ease Mountain Studio. Ben Lomond, CA
2017  Solaire. Santa Cruz, CA
2016  Ristorante Casa Nostra. Ben Lomond, CA
2015  Shadows on the Wall. Santa Cruz Rehearsal Space. Santa Cruz, CA
2015  Oswald. Santa Cruz, CA

Selected group shows:

2019 Mirror Mirror. Pajaro Valley Arts, Watsonville, CA. Curated by Lyn MacDonald.
2018  Anti-Valentine. Works/San Jose, San Jose, CA.
2017  A Figurative Affair. R. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA. Curated by Sefla Joseph and Susan Hancey.
2016  12x12. Cabrillo Gallery, Aptos, CA.
2016  The (Bill) Murray Invitational. The Public Works, San Francisco, CA. Curated by Julia and Ezra Croft.
2015  A Figurative Affair.  R. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA. Curated by Sefla Joseph and Susan Hancey.
2015  Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour
2015  Local Essence. The Art League, Santa Cruz, CA.
2014  Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour
2014  All Mixed Up. The Art League, Santa Cruz, CA. Juror: Andrea Borsuk
2011  Art for Tibet. Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, NY. Curated by Shepard Fairey, Richard Gere, and Robert Thurman

Selected publications:

Local Santa Cruz Featured Artist, October 2015
Artwork appeared in The Village Voice blog, December, 2014
Article at Posture Magazine, December, 2014
Cover and featured artist: Cretin, Stranger. Decibel Records, 2014
Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour, October 11, 12, 18, 19, 2014
Article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/1/14
Art published in Make Something Magazine #2 and #3. 2012.
Art published in Reclamando Nuestra Lengua. Spring 2008 issue.


Matt Widener Collection, CA
Marissa Martinez Collection, CA
Alex Cox Collection, OR
Simeon Lipman Collection, NY
Ideal Hair, Scotts Valley, CA
Spa Severino, San Jose, CA