Studio Art Major: Brandon Murphy Interview


The Hunters by Brandon Murphy. Photo courtesy of Brandon Murphy.

The Hunters by Brandon Murphy. Photo courtesy of Brandon Murphy.
The Hunters by Brandon Murphy. Photo courtesy of Brandon Murphy.

Where are you from?

Sunburg, Minnesota. That is two hours northwest in the middle of a corn field basically.

Besides the art major do you have any other majors or minors?

I have an educational studies minor.

Besides the educational department is there anything else you’re involved with on campus?

I mean, not now. I was part of the Macalester football team. As far as extracurriculars, that’s about it.

Moving on to art, do you have any favorite artists, or artists that you draw inspiration from?

LUCA I would have to say, I’m a big fan of Picasso. Just in his style as well as his lifestyle, I guess you could say. His abstraction, the way he paints, it’s similar to what I do. There are a few contemporary artists I’ve been looking at recently too.

When did you first become interested in art?

I’ve been interested in art, I would say, my whole life. Not necessarily from a classical standpoint, I really didn’t have that education at New London, that’s where I went to high school. It really wasn’t in the curriculum, so the art that I did, it was all for me basically. It started out in kindergarten, first grade drawing jet fighters and foxes.

When you came to Mac, was it an obvious choice be an art major?

No. It was actually quite a tough decision to make, just because of the high probability I’m not going to be able to find a job out of college. Initially it was either going to be Marine Biology or Psychology. I was interested in those two fields. And then, after taking a couple art classes as well as doing some educational psychology, I just decided that I really wanted to do art. I thought it would be much more fulfilling if I actually loved what I was doing.

Why did you come to Macalester?

You want the honest answer or…Honestly I didn’t know much about Macalester when i first came here. My college visit was orchestrated by the coaches. And that was interesting to say the least; I kind of just wandered around the campus for two or three hours, not having any direction. But where I’m from Macalester really isn’t a well known school, surprisingly. I heard about it through my brother. He came here before me, they recruited his class really heavily. And so he kind of got me into it, told me what it was like here. But initially what got me to come here was financial aid and just being able to go a high academically achieving school. And then I thought, “I can play football on the side? That’s great, I’ll go there.” And coming here was actually an awesome fit.

This is a broader question I’ve been asking, but how do you view your role as an artist in the Macalester commun


So far, it’s kind of a running joke right now. Nobody actually knows if I’m an artist because nobody’s seen my work yet. I mean honestly, my main goal in art so far, is kind of coming from a liberationist philosophy, and as well as an educational philosophy. With my work I want to cause a reaction within my viewers. And try to teach them, or at least open them up to learning about something later on. And, when it comes to the Macalester community, I feel that a lot of the things I have to say they already know. So the work that I’m going to generate is going to be more directed towards the general public.

Talking about the work that you’re doing, what sort of work have you been doing for your senior show?

So far, a lot of the work I have done has been more from a therapeutic, personal growth perspective. But then, for the senior show, what I’m doing is a large scale painting. Basically talking about all my social critiques of the mall [culture]. Consumerism—it’s a lot of things going into it, a lot of critiques. I’ve also been experimenting with collage, I’m thinking about doing installation for my senior capstone as well.

How do you see art taking a role in your life in the future?

As far as my future goes, I have no idea. I mean for me it’s just a journey. So, I mean after college, I’m probably going to get my teacher’s license. I might do that here, I might go to Hawaii and get that just because I want to live there. I might end up teaching English in Puerto Rico, I don’t know.