The ARX has unveiled a monumental installation entitled Dreams Matter by artist, Brendan Murphy. Commissioned by The ARX, the 19-foot tall sculpture is the latest site-specific piece in Murphy’s iconic ‘Boonji Spaceman’ series. Standing as the tallest sculpture of its kind in the United Kingdom, the larger-than-life sculpture is in The ARX’s Knightsbridge atrium gallery.
A product of a year-long collaboration between Murphy and The ARX, the one-of-kind-piece speaks to the innovative work The ARX is committed to fostering. Featuring a spaceman taking a step forward into uncharted territory, Dreams Matter encapsulates Murphy’s fascination with the fear of the unknown and how we reject or embrace it. Reinforced with a steel skeleton core, the towering sculpture boasts a carbon fibre exterior adorned with Murphy’s proprietary chrome finish and signature formulas that represent the shared, abstract experience of processing emotions.
We managed to sit down with Brendan to ask about his Boonji Spaceman series his wider art practice and plans for the future.
Can you tell us more about your ‘Boonji Spaceman’ series what made you want to create a 19ft Spaceman?
I had a great experience installing a large 20-ft Boonji The Spaceman in Antigua though that venture was also challenging, the impact a large sculpture has especially using the techniques that we use was really over the top
It’s not often an artist has a chance to literally change the landscape of an island or city but I think the spirit of the big spaceman complements any location you put him and effectively changes the aesthetic, that’s really exciting. I was always a fan of Cristos gates for example
How many Physical Boonji Spacemen are there?
There is currently only one other large 19-ft Spaceman in the world but I know we have concrete plans to install at least three more in 2022
How do you achieve the shine on the Spaceman’s spacesuit?
The genesis of finding that technique was because I was sick of the typical bronze or marble sculptures and I wanted to be able to do something more dynamic that could also live outside. The technique itself was created by a partner of mine and it’s an eight-layer silver-based technique that takes two weeks to apply. What’s really awesome about this technique is I can make almost anything look like metal so it allows me to work with very light materials especially in scale and still have that steel or aluminium heaviness look to the piece.
When did Arx get in touch with you about getting their very own Boonji Spaceman?
Ron Shamesh a principal at the lux group reached out to me, Ron is actually a substantial collector and he was very interested in purchasing the piece outright not exactly knowing where it would live that was back in May 2021. Ron quickly realized that it would have the most impact in the middle of London at the Arx gallery.
The real story is Ron actually built the space to accommodate the spaceman they created an atrium and raised the ceilings so that the Spaceman would fit in.
Is the Boonji Spaceman going to conquer the metaverse?
I’m not sure conquer is the word that I would use the definition of Boonji is positive energy derived from creativity I’d like to think that the spaceman himself will give off a high level of positive energy for everyone that visits and if the goal is to defeat negativities and give people a more positive outlook as we move forward then yes I do believe he will conquer.
Murphy’s impressive otherworldly piece is part of The ARX’s curated collection of contemporary art housed within its luxury, multi-sensory space including Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Banksy, KAWS, Warhol, Harland Miller, amongst a growing roster of represented international emerging artists such as Louis Carreon, Brian Sanchez, Bisco Smith, and Will Solomon. Curating a dynamic mix of exhibitions and quickly earning a reputation for embracing the ‘phygital’ art world, The ARX provides the ultimate immersive experience for art enthusiasts and collectors alike to discover the talents leading today’s cultural conversation.
You can see Dreams Matter by Brendan Murphy along with the artist’s other works at the ARX Thursdays 12pm – 8pm, Saturdays from 11am – 6pm, sundays 11am - 5pm or by appointment.
About the artist
Brendan Murphy is a widely known contemporary artist whose work is represented in over 600 private collections. His works’ universal appeal pushes the walls of creativity beyond the confines of the canvas exploring sculptural works, conceptual pieces, a wide range of rare materials, and producing his art with non-traditional methods. Brendan currently works from his studio in Miami, FL and has gallery representation in the USA, Canada, Germany, Colombia, England, and Monaco.