About Jack Murray
Although born and educated in Northern Ireland, Jack Murray has spent almost half his life living and working abroad — in the USA, Australia and the Principality of Monaco. He now lives and works in England.
His interest in art began at an early age, encouraged by his parents who noticed their six-year-old son drawing an impressive likeness of his hero George Best. Although Jack had a spell as a portrait artist in an American fairground during a summer vacation from University where he was reading politics and economics, it was not until the late 1990’s that he began to paint in oil. At this stage, painting was a hobby but access to some of the world’s finest art museums gradually transformed this pastime into passion. Jack returned to Northern Ireland between 2000-2003 to run his own art gallery. The idea behind the gallery was to make art more accessible through the organising of unusual broad appeal exhibitions. The gallery garnered significant media attention and featured regularly in newspapers, radio and television because of the anti-elitist approach to art. ‘Stripped’ an exhibition of art without frames taped to the wall was a major hit for the gallery. ‘Fake’, an exhibition of, well, fakes also proved highly popular with the media and public alike. Java Gallery was not just about eccentric exhibitions… it also provided the first launch platform for many young artists in the province.
Jack is almost entirely self-taught, although through the gallery he got to know and learn from many established artists and emerging young talents. His painting style is both realistic and sympathetic. Unimpressed by modern art’s emphasis on self-expression and abstraction, he turned down the opportunity to attend art college. As he says, “How do abstract painters know they are getting better? ” Consequently, Jack has turned to the great masters for guidance, visiting art collections the world over and devouring voraciously books providing insight into classical techniques.
This interest in art history has led to the creation of a number of mini documentaries on Youtube featuring the work of some of his favourite works. Links to these mini documentaries are featured below.
Jack Murray’s work has been exhibited in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
2000 Java Gallery, Belfast Stripped (group exhibition)
2001 Java Gallery, Belfast Fake! (group exhibition)
2002 Java Gallery, Belfast Sporting Icons (group exhibition)
2007 Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco Vague Memories (solo exhibition)