John Murray was born in 1973 and obtained a BA Fine Arts degree from the University of Stellenbosch in 1996, where he subsequently worked as a part-time lecturer in Screenprinting. During the following five years he has worked as a freelance illustrator.
He began taking part in group exhibitions in 1996, including "Portraits" (The Planet Site 1996), "Bad Books" (Arts Association Bellville 1997) "Drom"(KKNK 1997), "Unplugged 3" (Market Theatre Gallery 1998), "Canvas" (Bellville 1999), "Absolut Secret" (AVA 2000), "Container" (Rust-en-Vrede 2000), "Waver" (KKNK 2001) and various Stellenbosch University Student and Staff exhibitions. He held his second solo at the Bell-Roberts Gallery in 2001. He has also exhibited in group exhibitions in Marbella and in London.
John Murray's charcoal drawings combine a diverse series of iconography, fusing reality with the imaginary, personal with public. His work creates a merry mix of notions surrounding visual overload, melancholy, violence, ambiguity, religion and more. 1
"I think that in general my work plays with the idea of difference. For me difference is an integral characteristic of the modern world and is also very evident in South Africa with its variety of cultures, religions, ideologies and different economic backgrounds."
Text - David Krut Projects
1996: Portraits, The Planet contemporary Art Site, Cape Town
Graduandi, US Gallery, Stellenbosch
1997: Bad Books, Arts Association of Bellville, Cape Town
Drom, Outshoorn Arts Festival
1998: Kunsdinge, US Gallery, Stellenbosch
US Staff Exhibition, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town
Unplugged 3, Market Theatre Gallery, Johannesburg
1999: Canvas, Arts Association of Bellville, Cape Town
2000: Solo exhibition at the AVA
Absolute: Color Group Exhibition at the AVA
Plastic Bag Awareness Campaign, Collaborative Installation, Kirstenbosch
Exhibited and co-curated Emergency Group Exhibition at Bell Roberts Contemporary
Container, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville
Exhibition of South African work, JAK Gallery, London, UK
2001: Waver Group Exhibition at Outshoorn Arts Festival
Undercover, Solo exhibition at the Bell- Roberts Contemporary
Group Exhibition at south African work at the Mac 21 Art Fair, Marbella, Spain
Exhibition of miniature paintings at the Arts Association of Bellville
Studio Exhibition, 44A on Bloem, Bloemstreet, Cape Town
1991: Matriculated at Wilgers High, Pretoria
1996: Completed a BA Degree in fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch, SA
Work appears in various private collections, including collections in Germany and England as well as at Spier Art Collection.