Fox and Peony
Dimensions: 31 x 33.25″
Media: acrylic polymer, graphite on canvas
In 2008, Greg Murr began making pictures of dogs with their noses to the ground, relying upon instincts to guide them. Depicted among tangled pearls or fashion’s latest high-heels, the dogs find themselves amidst a material elite’s accoutrements. The recontextualization endows them with a peculiar new level of cognizance; they now fulfill the role of surrogate humanity, ever reminding us of the animal beings that we are. Here, our extravagances and luxury goods may paradoxically illuminate the animal essence we have for so long aspired to transcend. In what ways do we pronounce our mastery over primary needs, or the fundamental issues of survival and security? And how shall we define ourselves and make meaning of our lives,apart from invoking a host of consumer products,brands and services? What exactly is our genuine behavior? In response to such questions, these pictures challenge us to evaluate human nature as animal, and encourage us to think further about the motivations guiding us in all that we do.
Greg Murr attended the University of New Mexico, where he received his Master’s Degree in Visual Art. He has taught art in Venice, Italy, and currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. His works are included in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of Art, among others.