Photo: Jennifer Altman, New York Times, 09/18/07

Through performance, installation, video, photographic documentation, viewer interactions, and social practice I create situations that provide audience members the opportunity 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, yoga-teacher, and production-assistant for adult-fetish films, I utilize the under-appreciated aspects and roles of human existence – such as furniture, locks, teachers, and service professionals – as raw material to craft my artistic experiences. In 2021, I received my MFA from University of California, Santa Barbara as a Regents Fellow. Upon completion of my degree, I was awarded a post-graduate teaching fellowship through the College of Creative Studies. In 2002, I received my BFA from the New Genres department of The San Francisco Art Institute. My work has been displayed 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; Charlie 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. Two of my photographs are housed in The Berkeley Art Museum’s permanent collection.  From March 2018-September 2019 I was an artist in residence at Grand Central Art Center at Cal State, Fullerton funded through a generous grant from the Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts. Presently, I live and work in Los Angeles, CA and I am a visiting lecturer at U.C. Santa Barbara’s Department of Art.

Above: A short documentary made by Mandible Media about my work and studio practice

-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