Tag Archives: oil painting

Taiwan Centennial Painting Contest

Finished this is less than a week for Taiwan’s Centennial International Painting competition. Luckily they extended the deadline and I was able to shoot off the entry today before packing (for an extended holiday in the states). Originally this painting had Jesus holding the Taiwan baby, being growled at by the local gods (whose turf Jesus – the white colonizing masculine authority – had breached). It works pretty well this way too.

In October they’ll pick a winner (grand prize is $1000usd or an ipad!)

This is kind of a boring painting for me – what do you think?


“Skinny” 皮包骨 – 71x9cm – Oil on Canvas, 2010

A perfect “Hour Glass” figure – and yet it is obviously distorted and perverse. How thin is ‘too thin’? How much pressure, both internal and external, is put on women to lose weight in order to be considered beautiful? This painting highlights the self-consciousness of ‘bathing suit anxiety’.


Oil on Canvas Surrealism Oil Painting by Derek Murphy www.derekmurphyart.com

Endangered Species

“Endangered Species” 瀕臨絕種物種– 117x91cm- Oil on Canvas, 2010

Asian mermaid in a lunchbox, paired with disposable chopsticks. This painting draws attention to the fact that we are literally eating ourselves out of our home, not only by exhausting the natural food supply, but also through our disposable eating habits, which create enormous excesses of waste and garbage.


Oil on Canvas Surrealism Oil Painting by Derek Murphy www.derekmurphyart.com

Lamb Chop

“Lamb Chop ” 血浴– 127x97cm- Oil on Canvas, 2010

A.k.a. “Criobolium” – a poor man’s taurobolium; involves the slaughter of a sacred animal, and the ritual bathing in its blood. The death of the animal was supposed to take away sins – it died in the place of a human in order to satiate the bloodthirsty gods. The blood of the animal was used to wash away remaining sins. These practices were common in the Roman empire; Criobolium in particular was used in the worship of Attis and the Great Mother.

The ancient ritual continues, albeit in symbolic form, in modern Christianity. In this painting, Jesus has torn apart Lamb Chop and is shaking drops of blood on a bunch of Asian females. This sacred and powerful ceremony is belittled by the uninterested revelers, who are characteristically involved in playfully posing for the camera. Jesus is exasperated or resigned; he’s acting out of habit and duty, but has lost confidence in making real spiritual progress.

Interpretations: Jesus is the ‘tree of life’ – however he’s standing on the trunk of a much bigger and older tradition. The Jesus in this painting is really only a boy (young and short). The Taiwanese/Chinese, whose own spiritual traditions (mostly offshoots of Buddhism) predate Christianity, coddle and humor him in his bizarre and gruesome attempt to use ancient magical blood rituals to save their eternal souls.
Likewise, missionaries in Asia are often very earnestly trying to do what they consider is right; however their beliefs are often cut off from the vast and complicated history of Christianity and offer instead a rough, well-meant but ineffectual (and culturally inappropriate) form of indoctrination.



Oil on Canvas Surrealism Oil Painting by Derek Murphy www.derekmurphyart.com