Metamorphosis Beyond Silence

At first glance, Murtagh’s paintings are extraordinary. Almost all of them are individual-portraits, bBut there is more beyond the silence of the photographic portrait. For me, the title of the first names is an indication of the intimacy of the portraits (i.e. the relationship of the artist to the portrayed), which shows its equivalent in the emphatically artistic, gentle photography based on painting. – Here there is obviously a conscious or unconscious reference to pictorialism, the first recognized artistic photography, which more than 100 years ago, also wanted to convey painterly impressions in order to free photography from its immanent objectivity to define it as art. Regardless of whether defocus special printing techniques or other techniques change the specifics of the photograph, because this opens up a new level beyond the silence of the medium.

The artist stages people according to his ideas and lets us see behind reality because the individuals let us participate. Humans are the connection to the other world to the world of Daniel Murtagh.

We’re just looking at a scene with a protagonist who doesn’t have us in mind. Murtagh stages an environment for the person in which we can view them. Here the metamorphosis becomes clear that the artist offers us without objectifying the individual, as is usual in genre painting.

In the end, the imagery remains an imagination of the photographer, who always succeeds in imagining both the individual and their metamorphosis as part of a visible but mysterious and timeless moment.

Murtagh’s photographic works show a return to pictorialism, genre painting, symbolism, and surrealism. He goes beyond reality with the individual portrayed but leaves them their personality. We are also transformed a bit and take these feelings with us for our own contemplation. In the end, we become a part of these images, just as the images become a part of us.

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