• Great Southern Box

    oil on cardboard
    74 x 114 inches  |  2024

  • Alone and Awake

    oil on canvas
    38 x 42 inches  |  2023

  • Offering

    charcoal on paper
    35 x 75 inches  |  2023

  • My All to the Sky

    acrylic on canvas
    60 x 48 inches  |  2023

  • Shoulder Kissed

    acrylic on panel
    40 x 60 inches  |  2023

  • The Face Your Mother Drew

    acrylic on canvas, vinyl wallpaper
    80 x 105 inches  |  2023

  • La Toilette

    acrylic on canvas
    42 x 36 inches  |  2023

  • Forest of Rhododendron

    oil on canvas
    44 x 36 inches  |  2023

  • Lewis II

    oil on canvas
    42 x 36 inches  |  2023


Tri-cities, TN | Painting

Katie Murphy holds a BFA in Studio Art from East Tennessee State University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Studio Art from Maryland Institute College of Art. Murphy is a painter working with ideas of personal feminism. She grew up in Mississippi where cultural norms and expectations had a profound impact on her and continue to provide avenues to addressing and rethinking contemporary womanhood. Questions of propriety and inhabited space inform her expressive figurative paintings. Murphy currently lives and works in Johnson City, TN.

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How do we allow and encourage exploration and discovery within ourselves? How do we come together with others to explore and change together? The burning nature of desire and want may well change the landscape of one’s life when we give ourselves over to it. Katie Murphy is interested in the choices that individuals make that bring them to a specific place in their lives and in the energy and actions they may take to change their circumstances. She examines these ideas along with the relational dynamics that exist between bodies, lovers, sisters, children, and the self. She is interested in movement. What does moving away from a stagnant life look like? What can a place or a space give you, and when is it time to move on? At times, the distance achieved by leaving a certain scenario will allow the clarity to see how you’ve been equipped and where you’ve been left wanting. Consider the setting of our lives, the place from which we start. Our context. As someone born and raised in the South, Murphy finds richness in considering such a strong cultural influence as her own setting and all that may mean for my perspective as she moves out into the world. She states, “These paintings represent and explore my relationships: with my self, my family, my friends, and with Southern culture, especially in the context of being a woman. I consider the places and spaces where I’ve been allowed to exist, and I find myself questioning the containers offered. I am looking for avenues of choice and agency, for cracks within the traditional narrative that was drawn up for me.”

Desire is an integral part of Murphy’s creative process. Through expressive representation, she physically embodies the relationship she seeks to explore. She takes the figures and their settings into her own body through the act of painting. Murphy’s reference images come from personal photos and videos of people she knows and shares an orbit with. They are often specific memories and moments in time which ground the work. These figurative paintings enter another realm of dynamism as the image breaks apart and becomes abstracted. Murphy loves color and enjoys the palpable tension in the work created by color relationships. In her recent body of work she is drawn to the fluorescents as immediate energy. The intensity of the colors she works with communicates desire manifesting through the heat and fire of want.

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