Initially an experiment in striping, interior spaces and volume, the working process became a month long Rococo orgasm of ornate and novel compositional tactics for Murray during which he found great inspiration from the expressions of desire in the Warner Bros. cartoon One Froggy Evening. Its title is taken from a hallucinatory winter evening the artist spent in The Lower East Side of New York City.
Born in 1978 in Calgary, Wil Murray currently lives and works in Montreal. He was educated at the Alberta College of Art + Design. He received an honourable mention in the 2008 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, was included in the Magenta Foundation’s book Carte Blanche, Vol. 2: Painting, and curated the 2008 exhibition “Painting: Thick and Thin” at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. Wil Murray makes dripping, tumescent, over-stimulated paintings that evoke his own queezy seduction by ghosts and announce his own arrival as a spectral seducer.
He describes being haunted by photographs of his paintings much as one would be by a portrait of a lover or a former self: “I am captivated, gazing as if I could see around or past the subject, into its hands or mouth, or into shadows. Or maybe just a little further up its leg, down its blouse. Into a privately known place that the portrait will not show. What was past my eyes. What turned me on and sent me to the photo in the first place.” Like viewing a landscape with a Claude glass, his work sends the viewer back and forth between their own fleshy eyes and mechanical surrogates. His work is included in collections across Canada and the United States.