“All of my characters tend to end in failure,” Ethan Murrow once admitted to The Seattle Times. The artist’s large graphite drawings are rendered with obsessive photographic details, capturing whimsical images with a moral message. The visions are playful yet surreal, Barnum and Bailey meets Magritte.
The artist’s father was the legendary broadcast journalist Edward Murrow, and shadows abound in his new exhibition, titled “Narcissistic Excess.” Although well-versed in art theory, the younger Murrow has also explored the world of journalism (he frequently blogs for the Huffington Post Arts page). Don’t blame us for playing favorites, however, because these works stand on their own.
The drawings in the slideshow below are based off collaborative performances Murrow creates with his wife Vita, which he described to The Huffington Post Arts as “planned yet disorganized.” Vita began filmed, photographed and directed the performances in which Murrow starred. They are semi-autobiographical, often revolving around a male character who is an explorer and is in some way doomed. Playful and strange, they are the adult answer to children’s book illustrations.