100 Colorado Creatives: Lauri Lynnxe Murphy

Tammy Shine
#71: Lauri Lynnxe Murphy

In Denver's close-knit arts community, everyone knows Lauri Lynnxe Murphy. Even when she's gone, as she was for a couple of years while she was earning a graduate degree in Ohio, she remains a force here. Murphy sometimes shrugs it off, asking, "Why me?" But while she's so wholly immersed in her work and her process, Murphy is also equally engaged in the world around her: She's opinionated, enjoys great enthusiasms and is an expert on survival as an artist who is doing exactly what she was born to do. People look up to her -- and they like her, too.

See also:
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Donald Fodness
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Sabin Aell
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Onus Spears

Lauri Lynnxe Murphy, "Swoop," detail. Art collaboration with bees.
A member of Westword's first class of MasterMinds, Murphy remains occupied with the import of that designation: She still stands on the front line, fighting for artists' rights and paying it forward by staying involved in the MasterMind selection process. And first and foremost, Murphy is an artist's artist, bursting with commitment and the need to create.

Her list of accomplishments is almost too long to relate here, so we decided to let Murphy speak for herself by answering the 100CC questionnaire. Her eloquent answers follow.

Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Lauri Lynnxe Murphy: I wanted to say Louise Bourgeois or Yayoi Kusama, or maybe Eva Hesse, but honestly, I don't think I could see it as a collaboration so much as an apprenticeship, they've all given me so much, and I would be weak-kneed in any of their presences, I'm sure. But someone who has been important to my work from the start is Ernst Haeckel, who occupies a strange place between artist and scientist. In the late 1800s, he documented all sorts of amazingly drawn microorganisms in a scientific format...only later it was found he was making a lot of it up. He had some crazy ideas about evolution, but there's no doubt -- the man could draw. That would be a fun collaboration.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Honey Boo Boo. No, just kidding. Well...only sort of.

I've been listening to a lot of Dr. Helen Caldicott's lectures regarding Fukushima, which are both terrifying and fascinating. I'm quite fond of Lee Camp, whose Moment of Clarity videos are both funny and enraging. Amanda Palmer's last Ted talk was an inspiration. My friend Tom Motley is tearing up the back of the Brooklyn Rail, and I think he's a total genius. A whole huge list of my talented friends inspire me daily: Christian Van Minnen, Ukulele Loki, Tammy Shine, John Grant, Katie Hoffman, Jason Heller, Mishka Shubaly...plus so many of my peers in Ohio who are now scattered throughout the country. Overall, I feel incredibly fortunate to have so many inspiring people in my life.

I'm also still completely fascinated with my mentors at Ohio State University: Ann Hamilton, Ken Rinaldo and Mary Jo Bole. All of them make incredible work, and I find myself going to look at their websites often...I'm still processing things they said to me. I was fortunate to get to see Ann's work The Event of a Thread at the Armory in New York at the beginning of the year, and also Ken's work Face Music at Nuit Blanche in Toronto the year before -- I feel so incredibly lucky to have had their help in pushing my work forward.

I'm also entranced by the dancers in the Mexican pointy-boot phenomenon. But I have an incredibly short attention span -- ask me next week, get a whole different set of answers!

Continue reading for more on Lauri Lynnxe Murphy.

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