Michael Murphy's Midcentury-Inspired Supersonic Series

written by:
March 3, 2014
San Francisco artist Michael Murphy’s latest series of prints, Supersonic, depicts a mod, mod world.
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  We first came across Michael Murphy’s Forgotten Modernism series, which depicted structures across San Francisco. With Supersonic, his latest release, Murphy creates his own worlds using Atomic-age imagery as source material. “The ultimate goal is to create a fresh, contemporary tectonic, while recognizing certain influences of mid-20th century design and cultural zeitgeist,” he describes on his site. We asked Murphy to tell us about a few pieces in his series, which are available for sale at supersonicmodern.comArrivalArrival depicts a house in the desert, “which is the theme for much of this series,” Murphy says. “Solitude and isolation, and a mix of styles and genres with a 1950's Constellation airplane and a late 1960's Chevy Impala.”

    We first came across Michael Murphy’s Forgotten Modernism series, which depicted structures across San Francisco. With Supersonic, his latest release, Murphy creates his own worlds using Atomic-age imagery as source material. “The ultimate goal is to create a fresh, contemporary tectonic, while recognizing certain influences of mid-20th century design and cultural zeitgeist,” he describes on his site. We asked Murphy to tell us about a few pieces in his series, which are available for sale at supersonicmodern.com

    Arrival

    Arrival depicts a house in the desert, “which is the theme for much of this series,” Murphy says. “Solitude and isolation, and a mix of styles and genres with a 1950's Constellation airplane and a late 1960's Chevy Impala.”

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  Cocktail Before Target Practice“This is a study of some of London's modern architecture,” says Murphy, “where a sniper has decided on a quick drink at the Lancaster Gate Hotel before heading off for his target practice.”
    Cocktail Before Target Practice

    “This is a study of some of London's modern architecture,” says Murphy, “where a sniper has decided on a quick drink at the Lancaster Gate Hotel before heading off for his target practice.”

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  Departure Lounge“An airport bar, Tiki style,” Murphy says. “This was inspired by an old bar called ‘Ishi’ at the San Francisco International Airport—a wonderful place.”
    Departure Lounge

    “An airport bar, Tiki style,” Murphy says. “This was inspired by an old bar called ‘Ishi’ at the San Francisco International Airport—a wonderful place.”

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  Desert DeChirico“This is a view of a Miesian-inspired desert dwelling set in the milieu of a DeChirico composition,” Murphy says. “With a Barbara Hepworth sculpture thrown in for good measure.”
    Desert DeChirico

    “This is a view of a Miesian-inspired desert dwelling set in the milieu of a DeChirico composition,” Murphy says. “With a Barbara Hepworth sculpture thrown in for good measure.”

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  Observation Deck“A very modern, gravity-defying retreat for TWA employees before or after a long flight,” Murphy says.
    Observation Deck

    “A very modern, gravity-defying retreat for TWA employees before or after a long flight,” Murphy says.

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  Privacy Screen“This is another desert house where I wanted to imply a U-shaped plan by looking from the inside out across the pool,” Murphy says. “I’m not sure how much privacy one would really get from this screen though.”
    Privacy Screen

    “This is another desert house where I wanted to imply a U-shaped plan by looking from the inside out across the pool,” Murphy says. “I’m not sure how much privacy one would really get from this screen though.”

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  Quiet Night at Home“This is an airless, moonscape-like scene where the military officer has decided to take a break form the action and just stay in for the evening in his modern abode,” Murphy describes.
    Quiet Night at Home

    “This is an airless, moonscape-like scene where the military officer has decided to take a break form the action and just stay in for the evening in his modern abode,” Murphy describes.

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  Un, Dos, Cha Cha Cha“A modern house design with a touch of Tiki, and, of course, a glowing lightbox sign,” Murphy says. “My wife who is from Spain was singing ‘Un, dos, cha cha cha’ one day and I though it was the perfect fit for the house.”
    Un, Dos, Cha Cha Cha

    “A modern house design with a touch of Tiki, and, of course, a glowing lightbox sign,” Murphy says. “My wife who is from Spain was singing ‘Un, dos, cha cha cha’ one day and I though it was the perfect fit for the house.”

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