Ethan Murrow, ‘It Was Awful Luck, She Had Definitely Seen Them Cast Out the Cetacean Broadcaster’, 2007, Winston Wächter Fine Art

Ethan Murrow uses film and photography to create farcical, theatrical narratives that are then translated into large-scale graphite drawings. These beautifully rendered drawings focus on characters as outrageous innovators and absurd explorers capturing a sense of adventure, satire, fun and defeat. Drawing upon what he calls a “childhood determination to succeed and an adult obsession with glory and heroism,” Murrow’s stylized images invite his audience to consider the complexities of aspiration. The absolute confidence and passion of Murrow’s characters are intended to stand in contrast to the possibly dubious outcome of their efforts. Ethan explains, “I both admire and fear this kind of certainty.”

About Ethan Murrow

In multimedia works, Ethan Murrow builds narratives featuring characters with pathological ambitions. “It seems to me that there is a fragile line between reckless obsession and brilliant success,” he has said. “My work resides in this area, applauding ridiculous pursuits and cringing at ill-fated experimentation.” Murrow begins his process by creating collaborative film works, after which he builds installations composed of props, reused as sculptures, and photorealistic graphite drawings based on film stills. These drawings resemble black-and-white newspaper photos from the early 20th century, and suggest a pseudo-documentary archive of the pursuits of Murrow’s characters. Although he deals with grand themes of human ambition, Murrow infuses his work with absurdist humor, revealing the comedic failure of his subjects.

American, b. 1975