Bill Murray has played an incredible array of characters across a career spanning 74 movies and TV shows. Peter Venkman. Ernie McCracken. Herman Blume. Garfield. Bill Murray. Bill Murray. Bill Murray.
In tribute, San Francisco’s Public Works gallery will host The Murray Affair on August 8 ($12), a one-day show that will feature as many as 200 original portraits of Bill Murray submitted from an open call of non-commissioned artists. Organizer Ezra Croft, who has, in the past, hosted a similar celebration of Nicolas Cage, cites Murray’s “awesome catalogue of greatness” as his muse for the event.
Based on the few dozen portraits already submitted, it’s clear that the artists are taking plenty of creative license. “The strangest conceptions of Murray we’ve gotten have been very metaphysical,” Croft says. “I really like the Rushmore-related ones and the kingpin Ernie McCrackens.”
I never thought I’d see the day when Phil, Murray’s cocky weatherman from Groundhog Day, would be impaled with a stream of rainbow buckshot spewing from a groundhog’s mouth, all to the backdrop of Nyan Cat. Nor did I expect to witness Ernie McCracken, Murray’s perilously combed-over bowler from Kingpin, rendered faithfully in traditional oil paint. The variety captures the tone of Murray himself: a hilarious spectacle with one foot planted in the zany and one in the sincere.
Works will be available for sale, from $20 to $15,000 (!).