Photo: Jennifer Altman, New York Times, 09/18/07. “In Brooklyn, A Confluxion Junction” by Martha Schwendener

Through performance, installation, photographic documentation, and social practice I create situations that allow audience members to experience very private moments in very public situations. Thematically, my projects address ideas of service, perception, liberation, privacy, power, and labor by utilizing my employment as research to inform my art practice. Having dissected my careers as a professional cabinetmaker, busboy, locksmith, and yoga-teacher, I utilize the mundane aspects of human existence – such as furniture, locks, teachers, and service professionals – as raw material to craft my artistic experiences. My most current research working behind the scenes in the adult film industry has spawned an artistic investigation into the intimacy-of-the-self through the lens of judgement, privacy, commerce, privilege, and the utility of the body as a tool of labor. In 2002 I received my BFA with honors from the New Genres department of The San Francisco Art Institute. My work has been displayed extensively nationally and internationally in performance, gallery, public, and museum contexts and has been reviewed in Art Forum, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. Selected exhibitions include Conflux, New York City; Charles James Gallery, Los Angeles; 826 Valencia Street, San Francisco; Portland State University, Portland, OR; and S.M.A.K (Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art), Ghent, Belgium.  In 2010 I was an artist in residency with Vooruit Center for the Arts in Ghent, Belgium and I will be an artist in residence at Grand Central Art Center at Cal State, Fullerton in 2018.  Two of my photographs are housed in The Berkeley Art Museum’s permanent collection.

-Excerpt from Artweek:

“…There were a lot of photographs in Close Calls 2007. But-how to put this elegantly? -most failed to distinguish themselves. The exceptions were stunning works by Lucas Murgida…While the depicted goings-on did seem laced with many allegorical portents of a surrealist provenance, the photos themselves had a composed stateliness rarely seen in most photographic documentation, and seemed to have knowing relationship to the ways that high-renaissance painters staged their own allegorical figures.”

“Close Calls: 2007” at Headlands Center for the Arts
By Mark Van Proyen
Artweek, March 2007, Volume 38, Issue 2