MICHAEL MURPHENKO

CUT OPEN

Michael Murphenko [artist text]

I am interested in energy and its effects. How energy interacts with human beings. The different types of energy – emotional, potential, actual, visual, electric, nuclear, mental, social and spiritual, – that flows naturally in humans, unless something is not right.

Confusion is a parasite that feeds off and covers over the natural flow of energy. It comes from unacknowledged contradictions, such as when a person publicizes strength, but practises weakness or when one argues against the pain of truth in favour of sugary lies. Confusion is an area to be investigated because people are always engaged in a struggle with contradictions.
Once you overcome the confusion and embrace the contradiction of happiness, strength, pain, sight, evil and weakness, the parasite leaves and the natural (painful) growth ensues. So, with every work, I am cutting to the bones until it opens up bare canvas and thin layers of paint as energy. 

COLOUR AND SURFACE
Colour is a pure visual energy, which is experienced in depth – the light hits the work, bounces back and shoots into our eyes. It is an active, attacking energy, an energy that seeks attention and change.
The other is energy of lines and shapes that move across the surface. This is a more literary and directional energy.
My works are not meant to be glanced over quickly; they need to be intensely studied. After a time, the colours and energies are absorbed into the person. I make the images simple to increase the transparency of the energy – there are no details to get in the way.

MEDIA 
Nothing must interfere with the pursuit of clarity and natural flows of energy. I find, at the moment, that oil and canvas are the cleanest method to express this. Intense colours create a visual field of energy that interacts with the human, spiritual and material. The lines are straight and curving, each forming different emotional energies and intellectual directions.
This links to the formal powers of art as expressed in Arnheim, Klee and Kandinsky’s writing. Even with only a circle and a line, an energetic art work can be created. It is not the complexity, but the power that is important.

HEAT
Experiencing these paintings is a personal event. One that I experience myself after the work is finished. I use my intuition to judge the ‘heat’ of my works. A painting, drawing, installation, video, etching must have a feeling of heat, of energy stored within it, to be ready for the world.