John Morfis Still-Life Painting - Branching Out
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John Morfis
Branching Out



Painted from life, a bunch of tomatoes on a vine lay just behind a full voluptuous summer fresh red tomato. Painted in oil, in the style of trompe l'oeil against a monochromatic backdrop. John Morfis was born in Glen Cove, Long Island in 1976. His humble beginnings made pursuing a career in art difficult and paradoxically necessary. Fixated on making things aesthetically pleasing, John made an extreme departure from his family life when he chose to base his life on art. Surrounded by mechanics, welders, and otherwise trade workers John had a tough time expressing his interest in a world much more utilitarian and much less expressive and impractical. With an extraordinary desire to be an artist and a grant awarded, John was able to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting from the University of Hartford in 1998. While there John studied oil painting under American realist Stephen Brown. John’s first solo show took place in 2007 at the Ellen Traut Collection Gallery in Hartford, CT and was a near sell out. Since then John has had success up and down the northeastern coast of the United States working with various galleries and collectors. His work has also appeared in various group shows at the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut. ARTIST STATEMENT Each painting, although a portrait of a tired hand tool, is really my outward expression of the passion I have for objects that serve a humble, yet meaningful purpose. I cannot help but relate to worn-out, forgotten tools the way one might reminisce with old photographs. Fatigued wood feels good in my hands. That same wood bound to cold steel can excite my eyes with dancing light, flickering in between its aged patina. Even a tool’s shadow-work can create a unique performance all its own. When given the presentation and attention each apparatus deserves it becomes an instrument of progress and a peaceful record of time and place. Each painting begins with a traditional drawing and a tonal underpainting. With the best materials available I meticulously paint each tool portrait from acute observations made over many sittings. Like the devices themself, my painting methods are longstanding and true. Each dent, scratch or wear mark that I represent on canvas tells a story of a person’s deliberate skill or passionate misuse.


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    12 x 19 inches, Framed
  • Dimensions
    H 6 in. x W 13 in.H 15.24 cm x W 33.02 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Sag Harbor, NY
  • Reference Number
  • Seller Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in Sag Harbor, NY
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