Michael Gurhy

My artwork primarily focuses on the figure, psychological portraits constructed from both fantasy and memory are then further informed by tear out pages of glossy high fashion magazines. The male figure within the work seems to challenge traditional images of male beauty that use strength and power as currency, these subjects are often passive, even tearful capturing some kind of inward battle or melancholia. Adorned in piercings and marked by symbolic tattoos and thick bodily hair, these features evoke the artists early experiences of masculinity and vulnerability. In opposition the female figures gaze seem more deliberate, bold and suggests a knowing or sense of premunition. Recurring themes within the work include vulnerability, mortality, sexuality, the uncanny and the transcendental. Animals such as deers, birds, foxes and wolves become symbolic messengers. There is a sacred/celestial component within the work that is both gentle and violent, destruction is linked with creation exorcising the old and paving the way for new cycles.