A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers

053 - Spencer Murphy

Episode Summary

This week on the podcast I chart to Spencer Murphy, who has just published his first photo book, Urban Dirt Bikers, with Hoxton Mini Press. Their website describes Spencer as a fine art and commercial photographer. I would add documentary photographer to that. But he is probably best known for his portrait photography. In 2013 he won the National Portrait Gallery's Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, his work having been selected for the exhibition six times beforehand. Spencer’s personal work is often concerned with the notion of the outsider; those who live an alternative, rebel lifestyle away from – or in spite of – our preconceptions of what is deemed to be normal. Spencer was born in 1978 and grew up in the Kentish countryside. Raised in relative isolation, miles from the nearest shop or school, Spencer often found himself with only his imagination for company and the surrounding woodland as his playground. It was a combination of this imagination and an early discovery of his mother’s back issues of Life and National Geographic that sparked an early enthusiasm for photography at the age of 11. As a result, his parents bought him his first camera and photography quickly became a channel for his creativity. Spencer now divides his time between creating self initiated personal projects and taking on photographic commissions. He has contributed to many magazines, including The Guardian Weekend, The Telegraph Magazine, Time, Monocle and Wallpaper. His portraits have also appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone Magazine, GQ and Dazed and Confused. He has exhibited throughout Europe and North America and his work is now held in the National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection.

Episode Notes

This week on the podcast I chart to Spencer Murphy, who has just published his first photo book, Urban Dirt Bikers, with Hoxton Mini Press. Their website describes Spencer as a fine art and commercial photographer. I would add documentary photographer to that. But he is probably best known for his portrait photography. In 2013 he won the National Portrait Gallery's Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, his work having been selected for the exhibition six times beforehand. Spencer’s personal work is often concerned with the notion of the outsider; those who live an alternative, rebel lifestyle away from – or in spite of – our preconceptions of what is deemed to be normal. Spencer was born in 1978 and grew up in the Kentish countryside. Raised in relative isolation, miles from the nearest shop or school, Spencer often found himself with only his imagination for company and the surrounding woodland as his playground. It was a combination of this imagination and an early discovery of his mother’s back issues of Life and National Geographic that sparked an early enthusiasm for photography at the age of 11. As a result, his parents bought him his first camera and photography quickly became a channel for his creativity. Spencer now divides his time between creating self initiated personal projects and taking on photographic commissions. He has contributed to many magazines, including The Guardian Weekend, The Telegraph Magazine, Time, Monocle and Wallpaper. His portraits have also appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone Magazine, GQ and Dazed and Confused. He has exhibited throughout Europe and North America and his work is now held in the National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection.