Brett Murray / Hail to the Thief

About

Established Cape Town based artist Brett Murray returns with a new body of satirical work that continues his acerbic attacks on abuses of power, corruption and political dumbness. Whereas his last show, Crocodile Tears, sought to parody Mbeki’s still-born African Renaissance, Hail to the Thief uses the populist imagery and language currently in vogue with the present powers that be , to mock and goad. Murray’s bronzes, etchings, paintings and silk-screens form part of a vitriolic and succinct censure of bad governance and are his attempts to humorously expose the paucity of morals and greed within the ruling elite.

Brett Murray studied at the University of Cape Town where he was awarded his Master’s of Fine Arts degree in 1989. He has exhibited extensively in South Africa and abroad. From 1991 to 1994 he established the sculpture department at the University of Stellenbosch, where he curated the show Thirty Sculptors from the Western Cape in 1992. In 1995 he curated, with Kevin Brand, Scurvy, at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. That year he co-curated Junge Kunst Aus Zud Afrika for the Hänel Gallery in Frankfurt, Germany.

His solo shows include: White Boy Sings the Blues at the Rembrandt Gallery in Johannesburg in 1996, I love Africa at the Bell-Roberts Gallery in Cape Town in 2000, Us and Them at the Axis Gallery in New York in 2003, Sleep Sleep and Crocodile Tears at the Goodman Galleries in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Murray was included on the Cuban Biennial of 1994, and subsequently his works were exhibited at the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art in Germany. Brett was included on the group show, Springtime in Chile at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago, Chile. He was also part of the travelling show Liberated Voices, Contemporary Art From South Africa which opened at the Museum for African Art in New York in 1998. His work formed part of the shows Min(d)fields at the Kunsthaus in Baselland, Switzerland in 2004 and The Geopolitics of Animation at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo in Seville in Spain in 2007.

He won the Cape Town Urban Art competition in 1998 that resulted in the public work Africa, a 3.5 metre bronze sculpture, being erected in Cape Town’s city centre. He won, with Stefaans Samcuia, the commission to produce an 8 × 30 metre wall sculpture for the foyer of the Cape Town International Convention Centre in 2003. He was nominated as the Standard Bank Young Artist in 2002.

Murray’s work is housed in numerous South African and international collections including Iziko, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg Art Gallery; Durban Art Gallery Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, University of Cape Town, University of South Africa, Pretoria, Sandton Municipality, Johannesburg, BHP Billiton Collection, Johannesburg, MTN Collection, Johannesburg, Sasol Collection, Johannesburg, South African Breweries, Johannesburg, South African Broadcasting Corporation, Johannesburg, The South African Reserve Bank, Johannesburg, Vodacom Collection, Cape Town, Collection of Mikki and Stanley Weithorn, USA.

Murray is a full-time artist who works in Cape Town, South Africa, where he lives with his wife Sanell Aggenbach and their daughter Lola.

Brett Murray

  • The Wives: Mrs Viva-Viva

    Brett Murray

    The Wives: Mrs Viva-Viva, 2010

    Aluminium, paint, resin

    45 x 29cm

    Edition of 5

  • The Wives: Mrs Kickback

    Brett Murray

    The Wives: Mrs Kickback, 2010

    Aluminium, paint, resin

    45 x 29cm

    Edition of 5

  • The Wives: Mrs Comrade

    Brett Murray

    The Wives: Mrs Comrade, 2010

    Aluminium, paint, resin

    45 x 29cm

    Edition of 5

  • The Wives: Mrs Amandla (sold as a set of 4)

    Brett Murray

    The Wives: Mrs Amandla (sold as a set of 4), 2010

    Aluminium, paint, resin

    45 x 29cm

    Edition of 5

  • Forward Comrades!

    Brett Murray

    Forward Comrades!, 2010

    Aluminium, paint, resin

    48 x 37.5cm

    Edition of 5

  • Never a Dull Moment

    Brett Murray

    Never a Dull Moment, 2010

    Metal, paint, gold leaf

    148 x 238 x 12cm

  • Portrait and Self-Portrait (set of 2)

    Brett Murray

    Portrait and Self-Portrait (set of 2), 2010

    Plastic and wood

    23 x 24.5 x 3cm (each)

    Edition of 5

  • Myth, Cash, Cult (set of 3)

    Brett Murray

    Myth, Cash, Cult (set of 3), 2010

    Aluminium, paint, resin

    50 x 27cm (each)

    Edition of 5

  • Tender

    Brett Murray

    Tender, 2010

    Plastic, wood, silver leaf

    110 x 38.5cm

    Edition of 3

  • Hello and Goodbye

    Brett Murray

    Hello and Goodbye, 2010

    Plastic, wood

    78.5 x 50cm

  • Killed Twice

    Brett Murray

    Killed Twice, 2010

    Plastic, wood, paint

    120 x 120cm

  • Militant Youth

    Brett Murray

    Militant Youth, 2010

    Plastic, wood, paint

    170 x 100cm

  • Progress

    Brett Murray

    Progress, 2010

    Plastic, wood

    129 x 99.5cm

  • Fuck All Politicians

    Brett Murray

    Fuck All Politicians, 2010

    Plastic, wood

    117 x 55cm

  • Now Playing At a Town Hall Near You

    Brett Murray

    Now Playing At a Town Hall Near You, 2010

    Plastic, wood

    150 x 150cm

  • Freedom Charter: Houses and Security

    Brett Murray

    Freedom Charter: Houses and Security, 2010

    Wood, wood veneer

    92 x 66cm

  • Freedom Charter: Law

    Brett Murray

    Freedom Charter: Law, 2010

    Wood, wood veneer

    92 x 66cm

  • Freedom Charter: Peace and Friendship

    Brett Murray

    Freedom Charter: Peace and Friendship, 2010

    Wood, wood veneer

    92 x 66cm

  • Freedom Charter: Work and Security

    Brett Murray

    Freedom Charter: Work and Security, 2010

    Wood, wood veneer

    92 x 66cm

  • Chancellor House

    Brett Murray

    Chancellor House, 2010

    Metal, gold and silver leaf, paint

    133 x 103 x 7cm

  • Morning Glory

    Brett Murray

    Morning Glory, 2010

    Metal, silver and gold leaf, paint

    78 x 154.5 x 5cm

  • Hail to the Thief

    Brett Murray

    Hail to the Thief, 2010

    Metal, gold leaf, resin, aluminium

    104 x 119 x 5cm

  • Traditional Weapon

    Brett Murray

    Traditional Weapon, 2010

    Metal, gold and silver leaf

    98.5 x 77 x 4cm

  • Legacy

    Brett Murray

    Legacy, 2010

    Metal, gold and silver leaf

    119 x 66 x 8cm

  • Tribal Elder

    Brett Murray

    Tribal Elder, 2010

    Metal, gold and silver leaf, paint

    132.5 x 115.5 x 9.5cm

  • Chief

    Brett Murray

    Chief, 2010

    Metal, paint, aluminium, resin, gold leaf

    122 x 118 x 8cm

  • Crown Jewels

    Brett Murray

    Crown Jewels, 2010

    Metal, gold leaf

    157 x 148 x 5cm

  • Amandla

    Brett Murray

    Amandla, 2010

    Metal, gold and silver leaf

    150 x 149 x 12cm

  • Viva Viva

    Brett Murray

    Viva Viva, 2010

    Metal, gold and silver leaf

    149 x 147 x 13cm

  • He's Got Balls

    Brett Murray

    He's Got Balls, 2010

    Aluminium, paint, resin

    49 x 25.5cm

    Edition of 8

  • Ubuntu

    Brett Murray

    Ubuntu, 2010

    Metal, gold and silver leaf, resin, aluminium, paint

    186 x 158 x 15cm

  • President and Sons

    Brett Murray

    President and Sons, 2010

    Stainless steel

    4.5 x 99.5 x 4.5cm

    Edition of 5

  • Julius on Horseback

    Brett Murray

    Julius on Horseback, 2010

    Metal, paint, gold and silver leaf

    225 x 155 x 4cm

  • Hail to the Thief

    Brett Murray

    Hail to the Thief, 2010

    Metal, gold and silver leaf

    207.5 x 207 x 11cm

  • Hold My Hand, I'm a Stranger in Paradise

    Brett Murray

    Hold My Hand, I'm a Stranger in Paradise, 2010

    Plastic, wood, silver leaf

    227 x 154cm

  • Corporate Identity

    Brett Murray

    Corporate Identity, 2010

    Stainless steel

    75 x 66cm

    Edition of 5

  • Cash is King

    Brett Murray

    Cash is King, 2010

    Silkscreen

    100 x 70cm

    Edition of 25

  • Umshini Wam (Diptych)

    Brett Murray

    Umshini Wam (Diptych), 2010

    Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas

    86 x 63.5cm & 86 x 50.5cm

  • Hail to the Thief

    Brett Murray

    Hail to the Thief, 2010

    Etching

    66 x 67cm

    Edition of 10

  • Glory

    Brett Murray

    Glory, 2010

    Etching

    43 x 43cm

    Edition of 10

  • The Party vs. The People

    Brett Murray

    The Party vs. The People, 2010

    Bronze

    59 x 54 x 81cm

    Edition of 6

  • One Party State

    Brett Murray

    One Party State, 2010

    Bronze

    52 x 53 x 57cm

    Edition of 6

  • President

    Brett Murray

    President, 2010

    Silkscreen

    100 x 70cm

    Edition of 22

  • Amandla

    Brett Murray

    Amandla, 2010

    Silkscreen

    100 x 70cm

    Edition of 22

  • The Struggle

    Brett Murray

    The Struggle, 2010

    Silkscreen

    100 x 70cm

    Edition of 22

  • The Struggle

    Brett Murray

    The Struggle, 2010

    Wood and wood veneer

    152 x 113 x 2cm