Marcelle Murdock

Artist Q&A with Marcelle Murdock

“Sigil of Gemini”, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in | 76 x 102 cm, 2010

Why did you become an artist?

I didn’t become an artist, I just never stopped creating. I was always drawing, painting and discovering new mediums as a kid, which continued through my teen years to this day. Whenever I can learn a new medium I continue to challenge myself and try new techniques. Painting for me was always my main medium and I would spend hours of my days and nights painting, which was not only enjoyable but also a form of therapy for myself and I simply never put the paintbrush down. Creating isn’t a hobby, it’s an absolute need whether it brings me somewhere in my life or if it’s just for myself personally. 

How is your work different than everything else out there?

I feel there are two main aspects of how my work is different than a lot of work I see around. The first is that I have a background in photography and photoshop, so when I create a painting I’m also treating it the way I would a digital photograph with the type of lighting I paint and the way I view the full frame. The second is the main difference which is that I don’t base the work on myself nor do I base most of the aesthetic on my personal taste either, I try to completely match the painting techniques and imagery to the style of the person I am painting a portrait of. 

Marcelle Murdock, portrait by Marie Nyquist

What’s different about your current body of work?

Each of my portraits are really to honor the style, aesthetic and energy of the subject I am painting. The ideas for each painting I come up with entirely based on my subject’s own life and what they have been through and what I work out with them that is a central part of their work, who they are and why they are so driven to do what they do. It’s to honor those who are really pushing through the current status quo and being true to themselves.

What’s coming up for you?

I am currently more than halfway through my current series of paintings entitled “The New Status Quo”, which I intend on launching Spring 2021. My subjects are all creatives I have collaborated with on some level showing the collaborative nature of New York City, despite it’s reputation as being harsh and individualistic. Now more than ever, the strength of mutually-supportive, inclusive communities is central to the success of New York’s up and coming artists. 

Who are some of your favorite under appreciated artists?

In terms of emerging artists I admire, Storm Ritter, who is mostly known for her psychedelic painting style and her 8th Street clothing shop steps away from Electric Lady Studios has now started moving towards showcasing her paintings that she would famously use as her clothing patterns. Her ambidextrous style of painting is mesmerizing to watch and it’s so distinct you know you are stepping directly into her madness when you walk into her studio. The psychedelic world she has created around positive energy and love that she shares to her community reminds us that we could all use a little bit more of that 60’s summer-of-love outlook in our own communities.

Another artist I am completely in awe of and inspired by at the moment is not so emerging, but not as widely known as he should be. Troy Brooks‘ surrealist, film-noir style portraits are so decadent, with just enough darkness and satire they become addictive to look at. His technique is so unique and perfected, with his glowing, haunting imagery and masterful shading and detailing, I could and do stare at it for hours.

“Судьба (Fate)”, oil on canvas, 22 x 40 in | 56 x 102 cm, 2019

To learn more about Marcelle and her work, please visit