P H I L I P R O S S M U N R O
PEN & INKS: 2020 - ongoing aka ‘The Dialogues’
This series finds its beginnings in ink drawings executed by Philip Ross Munro in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Over the years, they have become a distinctive narrative form in the Artist’s repertoire of channeling and story telling.
”People often engage with these images in a gleeful and inquisitive fashion. They may question what they see and ask how these works of arts are created. While the images may appear simple in nature, the answer is more complex.
Diane Arbus was quoted saying: ‘the most important thing to know is that you never know’.
This is the case in much of Philip Ross Munro’s production. In his words:
The initial concept is followed by a process wherein the mind and the body harmonize on their way to discovery and completion of new imagery. As the ink hits the surface of the paper or canvas, there is an immediate confluence of forces propelling the extension of thought or conversation into form.
The path in creation is not one mapped beneath the feet, but more similar to that of birds in flight. If I knew the outcome before I undertook the start then more than likely I would not embark.
The result may be part sociological dialogue, fable, parable, fantasy, or myth.”
Good Morning, where are my shoelaces? Who are you?
THE BOX SERIES aka The Skinnerians: 1997 - ongoing
When I was born they took me home and put me in a box. It had alarm monitored systems for temperature, light, humidity and air flow. It was a large box measuring 6 ft. x 5 ft. by 2.5 ft. with double glass doors at the waist height of the average adult. Behind the doors was a removable washable mat. That’s where I resided as an infant.
The behavioral Psychologist B. F. Skinner had designed it. He marketed it under the name of ‘The Baby Tender’. In our family it was simply referred to as ‘The Box’. My brother and sister also lived in the box, but not at the same time that I did. In the box I was unencumbered, with no need for blankets, as a diapered infant I could roll about and eventually, as I grew, I could enjoy toys that were hung in the box. I am told that I was taken out of the box to be fed and played with.
The box did become the source of some negative urban lore on University campuses in the 60's. While many are horrified by the concept and denigrate it as a behavioral experiment; I believe that the box, in some ways, echoed the womb, except of course for the fact that it had large windows. There was complete freedom without blankets pinning me to the bottom of a crib. I had my own creative control and it was uniformly warm.
The Skinner Series is a reflection on situations, emotions and thought. It uses texts including partially hidden words in a manner illustrating the vagaries of what we may recognize, divulge or choose to carry as potentially secretive circumstances. It co-relates the psychological experiences of emotional thought and visceral reaction.
This series has never been exhibited.
MINI MONOTYPES 1993
In the 1990's I had a studio in the Naval Shipyards at Hunter's Point in South San Francisco. There were clapboard wooden walls and no heat so I downsized production and started used my dining room at the house in Corona Heights as a studio.
Without an actual press to create prints I began sketching with ink on sheets of plexiglass and then used my body weight, standing on the reversed plexi over Arches paper.
The images in this series express the union and meeting of beings
THE BILLBOARD SERIES 1994
This body of mixed media works on paper derive their origins from four choreographers who were commissioned to create a Joffrey executed Rock Ballet based on the music of Prince. Like the mini monotypes these works were drawn in reverse, inked and pressed using my body weight.
Billboards #9, MIxed Media
THE SABINES 2015
The Rape of the Sabine Women is a legend from Roman history. Traditionally dated to 750 BC when the first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves from the neighboring Sabine families this tale is often depicted in works of art.
The English word rape is a conventional translation of the Latin raptio, which in this context means "abduction" rather than its prevalent modern meaning in English language of sexual violation.
Recounted by Livy and Plutarch it provided a subject for Renaissance and post-Renaissance works of art that combined a suitably inspiring example of the hardihood and courage of ancient Romans with the opportunity to depict multiple figures, including heroically semi-nude figures, in intensely passionate struggle.
GESTURAL PORTRAITS, MADONNAS AND MASKS 1976 -
The face paintings by Philip Ross Munro found their origins in the work of a German Artist whose painting of the Madonna may be found in the Chapel of Santa Maria Novella in Rome. While as a student in the Atelier of Fresco at The Beaux Arts, Munro used this Madonna as the catalyst for his first original fresco painting. Since that time, Munro has continued periodically to add images to his production of Madonna and Gestural portraits. These works are larger than human scale.
Limited Edition fine art prints and a small number of originals are available from the collection of the artist.
'Joan', 21x29" Gouache on paper, 1984