Althea Murphy-Price Exhibition in Spain
Althea Murphy-Price, associate professor and Ellen McClung Berry Professor of printmaking, had a solo exhibition in Santander, Spain, this past September as part of the IMPACT 10 Conference.
IMPACT, which is an acronym for International Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking, Artist, Concepts, and Techniques, is a bi-annual event that has become Europe’s leading academic conference on printmaking, devoted to the discussion, practice, theory, and visual culture of printmaking in both academic and professional settings.
Murphy-Price’s exhibition is titled Unicorn. It consists of hand-printed lithographs inspired by online images generated by searching such terms as “perfect beauty,” “perfect hair,” and “perfect skin.” She says that adding “perfect” to nearly any online search “reveals the social norms of our society, what our standards or expectations are.” The results were images of women that all look alike, with the same type of facial structure, skin tone, hair length, and texture. “These are the images we are most bombarded and subconsciously influenced by,” Murphy-Price says.
Her work depicts long and flowing hair or long hanging tendrils based on advertisements and commercials, printed in bright hues—purples, blues, reds, etc.—that are improbable and playful.
Murphy-Price’s work is largely inspired by the popular recent hashtag #BlackGirlMagic, which is meant to empower and encourage young African American girls. Murphy-Prices says her prints “question how these statements promote an unrealistic standard and an expectation to be unique, or ‘magical,’ within North American culture.”