Artist Interview: Kidd Murray

Artist Interview: Kidd Murray

We’ve recently collaborated with contemporary artist Kidd Murray on an exclusive new print, 'New Hair'. Available exclusively here from 2pm on Friday 29th September 2023.

 

Kidd Murray (b.1994) explores themes of consumerism and materialism, and depicts a natural environment which has been ruled by both, rendering it obsolete. These imagined places are adorned with diamantés, vibrant colours and manicured landscapes, a nod to materialism and impractical, harmful beauty standards. An inhabitant of this world, the glowing green worm, is used to represent a toxic consumer, confined by societal pressures and expectations. It can be seen feeding off of vivacious fruit and plants, or struggling to find its purpose in a superficial, dysfunctional world that has only one agenda - beauty.

Dovehouse Studios: how would you describe your artistic style?

Kidd: In terms of artistic movements, a mix of symbolism, surrealism and pop art. My work has always been very feminine, and I have heard others describe it as “weird” - which I am more than fine with. In more casual terms, I’d describe my work as fun, silly, yet meaningful.

 Kidd Murray

Dovehouse Studios: Could you tell us a bit about your background – are you a formally trained artist?

Kidd: I attended Glasgow School of Art in 2013 until 2017, and graduated with a BA Hons Degree in Painting & Printmaking. My time at GSA was full of experimental projects, I was learning a lot about different techniques & processes, as well as myself. Although this period was crucial in developing my own style and ideas surrounding art, on reflection I feel that the growth and experience i have had as a working artist, has been more valuable.

 Kidd Murray

Dovehouse Studios: What inspires your work?

Kidd: My work is inspired by materialism, consumerism, and its effects on societal pressures and expectations. All of the aforementioned have a direct link with aesthetics, and the emphasis and importance that is put on appearances. I feel like everyone is obsessed with looking “hot”, “pretty” and “cute”, and my work looks at this issue on a more primal level, where even nature has began to posses this way of thinking. My subconscious feeds into my work a lot, but it can take weeks or sometimes months until I find the deeper, more personal connection to an idea. I draw from lived experience of feeling like my appearance holds more value than anything else, and also the realisation of these feelings as an adolescent, which in turn creates pressure to try and “fit in”.

 Kidd Murray

Dovehouse Studios: Your work oozes with colour, creativity and has a strong overall sense of femininity about it. How do you approach the use of colour in your work?

Kidd: As a mostly feminine presenting individual, my colour choices are mirrored by ways that I present myself, physically through choice of clothing, make-up etc, but also energetically. The colours that are most often on my pallet are vibrant pinks, greens, blues, purples, and they bring me joy. I have always responded excitedly to colour and the reasoning behind choosing specific colours for my work, may simply come down to an emotional response.

Dovehouse Studios: How would you describe your studio practise?

Kidd: I’d describe my artistic practise as a real learning environment. I am always trying new ways of working, new techniques, and testing my abilities. I can sometimes feel a strong sense of uncertainty when in the studio, but in an exciting way, as with each painting I produce, I am usually stepping out of my comfort zone. It is still a very safe and comfortable place for me to be though, I feel like there are no restrictions and no judgement, I can just create whatever I want.

 Kidd Murray

Dovehouse Studios: The ‘green worm’ that is often present throughout your work is an important part of your practise. Can you tell us more about that?

Kidd: So the worm started creeping into my work when I started to think in more detail about the environment I was creating. How did these pretty and perfect, yet dysfunctional landscapes affect the organisms that inhabited it? My mind first jumped to worms, because I associate them with consumption (of garden plants), but also because for me, they hold connotations of playfulness. I grew up in the countryside and always loved playing with worms and other things that crawled in the dirt. The worm has evolved to represent the pressure that many individuals feel, to look and act a certain way, and to always be presentable. The worm is usually seen trying to fit in somewhere, literally, like inside of a flower or underneath a petal, but also in regards to it finding a purpose within its environment. Its unsure about which role it’s expected to play, or wants to play. Sometimes the worm is dressed up, masquerading as something completely different, experimenting with who or what it wants to be- something i think is a freedom which many people yearn for.

 Kidd Murray

Dovehouse Studios: The work you have created for this release, ‘New Hair’ seems to be a ‘classic Kidd Murray’ piece. What is the story behind the work?

Kidd: This piece is part of an ongoing series of work where I am experimenting more with light and space. All paintings in this series have a deep, black/blue background, and the worms are illuminated by a light blue. This effect can make it appear as if the worm is under a spotlight, performing on a stage. The worm has a pretty pink flower on it’s head, they’re wearing it over their shiny bald head to try and look pretty. Funnily enough it looked exactly like my recent haircut, which made me wonder about this one being a self-portrait.

 Kidd Murray

Dovehouse Studios: What does the future hold for Kidd Murray?

Kidd: I recently shipped some work over to Beijing for a group show in September, so i am looking forward to that. After this, I don't have anymore shows booked for the remaining of the year, so i am excited about building a body of work just for myself. I am going to be pushing myself to work on a larger scale, and trying out some new oil painting techniques, as well as developing my worm character, and creating new ones.

 

Kidd Murray x Dovehouse Studios: Available exclusively here from 2pm on September 29th 2023.

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