Published: Jul 20, 2013
Bahamian artist Jon Murray answers this week’s 20 Questions from Guardian Arts&Culture.
1. What’s been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
There have been many amazing moments in the past five years that have changed my life forever. However, I don’t believe inspiration comes in a single overwhelming moment, not for me at least. It diffuses slowly from the universe through many small moments.
2. What’s your least favorite piece of artwork?
I believe art objects are tangible souvenirs of an intangible experience. I’m not fond of work that overpasses the experience and shortcuts directly to the object. It lacks meaning and value.
3. What’s your favorite period of art history?
Easy. The period we’re currently in. It’s new, exciting and is ours.
4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
I couldn’t think of five by the time I submitted my answers, but I have four. Interestingly, three of the four films have amazing soundtracks.
• The Sound of Music
• 2001: A Space Odyssey
• Requiem for a Dream
• Hocus Pocus (My childhood favorite)
5. Coffee or tea?
I enjoy both, but tea wins over coffee.
6. What book are you reading now?
Since I began university, my reading habits have changed, including during my personal time, and I tend to read more academic scholarly works instead of novels or poetry. Currently, I’m reading essays in “Latin American & Caribbean Art: MoMa at El Museo” and re-reading “Caribbean Art” by Veerle Poupeye.
7. What project are you working on now?
In addition to planning the 3rd Small Art Auction House, I’ve been learning HTML and CSS and developing a user-friendly website that will allow me a venue for some multinational curatorial experiments.
8. What’s the last show that surprised you?
Cameron Gray’s “Birth of a Legend” at Mike Weiss Gallery in Chelsea, NYC.
9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
None. My only allegiance is to the art form itself. Although I often find myself surrounded by characters from One Family.
10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?
Eleuthera. I believe that magic still exists there.
11. What’s the most memorable artwork you’ve ever seen?
The Dom Bosco Sanctuary in Brasilia, Brazil, designed by Claudio Naves. To this day, I have goosebumps when I think about standing in its interior. In fact, I have them right now.
12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
Whichever artist is giving me a piece of work.
13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?
A person who’s offering me my ideal job with my ideal compensation.
14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country’s history?
I will answer that question when I feel confident that all aspects of our history have been written.
15. Who is your favorite living artist?
I don’t really start to like them until they’re dead.
16. Sunrise or Sunset?
Definitely sunrise. It’s the birth of a new day, when anything is possible.
17. What role does the artist have in society?
I see artists as the forerunners of society. They are producers of innovative and meaningful experiences and objects that create possibilities and new ways of seeing and living.
18. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
I’ve had way too many embarrassing moments. Thankfully to the power of alcohol, I only remember a handful of the really bad ones. The one that’s truly embarrassing I will abstain from mentioning, as it isn’t appropriate for these pages, and I have no desire to be wrapped up in an obscenity lawsuit.
19. What wouldn’t you do without?
We’re completely dependent beings. I couldn’t do with about a million different nouns.
20. What’s your definition of beauty?