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Joe Murtagh

Joe is based in Liverpool and his love of art started at a very young age when he was inspired by Looney Tune cartoons. He used to watch them with his Dad then draw the characters. Delighted with his family’s response he continued to draw everything he saw, including family members, comics, album covers, television stars, movie stars and pop stars. He has a fine art degree from Sunderland university. During that time Joe went on a three month exchange to KABK, The Royal Academy of Art in the Hague, and was taught how to model with clay and carve stone. On his return to the UK Joe continued to make figurative artwork with stone and also experimented with metal, welding metal rods into 3D drawings.

Joe is a mixed media artist, focusing on figurative work using a range of bold colours and mark-making. When painting, he builds up layers and layers of paint with paint brushes, hair brushes and sharp lines. He also works with digital work in which he uses a candy colour palette.

"I'm interested in contrasts and layers, trying to understand and reveal what's underneath feelings and surfaces. I like to experiment and play with expectations, of myself and the viewer. When making artwork I'll collect images, or movie scenes, or bits of music or lyrics that sing out to me. Over time, I'll blend things together and find some kind of harmony that feels right. Often after a piece is made, I'll come to understand more of what the artwork means. And usually the meaning will deepen and change direction, pulling me down a different path to explore ideas that react or continue what was done previously."


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