“I'm interested in his Murrayness,” explains artist Brian Griffith, when asked what made him choose Hollywood actor Bill Murray to be his latest muse. Given that his new show is called “BILL MURRAY: a story of distance, size and sincerity”, though, it's probably not the most wild conclusion to jump to.
“Bill Murray is always authentic. He is consistently ‘BILL MURRAY’,” Griffith explains. “Bill the global superstar, the guy-next-door, the anti-brand brand, the irrepressible Lothario, the lovable gruff, the wisecracker, the emotionally brittle, the lost man, the free-wheeling guy, the uncle you-never-had, the dignified clown, the droll philosopher and the hopeful.”
The site-specific commission, which is currently running at Gateshead’s BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, uses the Groundhog Day actor’s versatility and likeability as a focus point. Featuring nine mini models of buildings – including a Scottish mansion and an LA beach house – the London-based artist has attempted to reimagine the activities of the actor, creating his own “fantasy caricature” of his life. “I would call it a metaphysical adventure story with Bill,” Griffith summarises. “For me, Bill is an object in the show and an image in the show. He has to some extent become my leading man.”
No news yet on whether the actor has heard about the project, but given his love for randomly crashing people’s parties, there's still hope he'll make an appearance. He's got until the end of February, after all.
Bill Murray: A Story of Distance, Size and Sincerity is running at the BALTIC Centre until February 28