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Atlanta, GA. September 13th 2022 – Bill Lowe Gallery is pleased to present the first exhibition devoted to Todd Murphy since announcing the representation of his estate in May 2022. This is also the first exhibition of the artist’s work since his passing in 2020. In the essay to accompany the exhibition, Seph Rodney writes: “The paintings in Todd Murphy’s Wink series tell a particular story about the African-American jockey James (or Jimmy) Winkfield, whose riding career began at age sixteen and who is perhaps most well known in the United States as the last Black jockey to win in the Kentucky Derby — which Winkfield accomplished in 1902. But in the exhibition this essay accompanies, Murphy’s depictions of Winkfield astride various horses have aims beyond representing this one heroic competitor. Instead, there is an entire history of Black jockeys that Murphy refers to in the painting Untitled Jockey, 2012 -2019 by deliberately leaving the rider’s face featureless. He is meant to stand in as a composite of several of these exceptional athletes, among them: Oliver Lewis, who in1875, set a new American record time for a mile-and-a-half race; William Walker, who was born into slavery and went on to become the leading rider at Churchill Downs for several seasons; Garrett Davis Lewis, winner of the 1880 Kentucky Derby; Babe Hurd, winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1882; and Isaac Murphy, the first jockey to be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame upon its opening in 1955.”


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