After several months in Tuscany and Provence, Lucia Cirino Murphy is exhibiting her collection of photographs at BAMA galleries in Hoboken.
During two trips last year to Europe, Murphy photographed the countryside and captured the spirit of the two Mediterranean cities in her current collection of photos.
At BAMA, Lucia has 31 pieces hanging on the walls of the small gallery until Aug. 7. Her photographs include gardens, sidewalks, buildings, bodies of water, people, and bridges. For many of her images, she manipulates the chemicals used on the prints on archival watercolor paper to emphasize the photographs' colors, according to the show's curator. As a result, most of her photographs appear to be paintings.
In addition to the color images, Murphy includes black and white photographs of different landmarks in Tuscany. The photographs are complex depictions of a place that comes across to the viewer as mysterious and beautiful.
"Most of my recent photographs were taken during two trips in 2001," Murphy said. "On both travels, I was drawn to places of contemplation and solitude."
Through her travels in the French and Italian cities, Murphy chronicled an aspect of life found in open fields, museums, village paths, and quiet cafes.
"I am often attracted to scenes that are inhabited only by distant, anonymous figures or by the viewer alone," said the artist. "Many of these locations seem to embody tranquility in their soft light and shade."
Murphy, a North Jersey resident, studied at Caldwell College in New Jersey, the New School, and the International Center for Photography in New York City.
BAMA galleries is owned and operated by musician, artist, and poet Chris Burkhardt. In addition to Murphy's show, BAMA offers classes in sculpting, painting, drawing, yoga, and dance throughout the week.
Burkhardt was attracted to Murphy's works because they resembled true photographic art, he said. He is captivated by the artist's ability to manipulate the colors on the print, and still present a powerful or subtle message, depending on the image.
"She is a great artist that gives life to her photographs," Burkhardt said.
The opening reception for Murphy was last week. It attracted several local and regional artists and residents. It was an event that promoted independent artists and celebrated the local art scene in town.
"We had a great turnout for the event," Burkhardt said. "People are interested in what is going on. We have a good thing here."
BAMA gallery is located on 946 Bloomfield St. For more information call (201) 659-5623. The gallery hours are Monday through Thursday by appointment; Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. - E. Mulero