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TENNIS

A look at contemporary painter Brendan Murphy's tennis art Add to ...

At the Rogers Cup the artistry usually happens on the court. This year tournament director Karl Hale also wanted eye-popping visuals outside the sporting arena.

Enter Brendan Murphy, a contemporary painter and tennis fiend, as the official artist of the tournament. Murphy, who divides his time between studios in Brooklyn and Malibu and calls Rogers Cup favourite Novak Djokovic a close friend, is making a name for himself as a sports artist. Below he discusses the inspiration for his tennis works. He has painted Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and debuts works of Canadian stars Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard here.

His exhibition opens Aug. 5 at Cambria Studio in Toronto. His exhibition opens Aug. 5 at Cambria Studio in Toronto. For tickets visit http://tickets.linebypass.com/event/EighteenFloors.

The future

30 inches by 40 inches

Acrylic, gouache on canvas

“Eugenie Bouchard hits the ball differently than anybody. The way she bends her knees and uses her legs on the forehand, nobody else generates power the way she does. I tried to capture that crouch when she gets really low. Nobody does that anymore.”

Next

30 inches by 40 inches

Limited edition print on canvas

“With Milos his defining move is his forehand or his serve. He’s such a powerful guy. On some level he’s the future of tennis – big and fast. I like his energy. He’s a cool character.”

Timeless (Arthur Ashe)

60 inches by 40 inches

Oil, gouache, acrylic on canvas

“I really admire and enjoy the subject. When you feel that way it’s so much easier to do a painting. … The painting of Arthur Ashe is the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done.”

Andy

60 inches by 72 inches

Oil, gouache, acrylic on canvas

“As a fan I’m head over heels for this as a subject but I also have personal relationships with some of the players. To be able to do some really nice paintings for them, of them, is a real thrill. I have to act cool about it though, which is hard for me.”

Club Fed

60 inches by 40 inches

Oil, gouache, acrylic on canvas

“Roger, what can you say about Roger? He’s just the greatest player of all time.”

Nole

30 inches by 40 inches

Oil, gouache, acrylic on canvas

“I did a painting for Rafa and Novak Djokovic saw it and was quite interested in it. I said, ‘When you become No. 1 maybe I’ll do one of you.’ We made a friendly bet that if he won his next tournament I’d give him a painting for free. Of course he won. So I showed up at the U.S. Open that year with his painting.”

The brothers

30 inches by 40 inches

Limited edition print

“I did a painting for the Bryan brothers and we auctioned off prints for their foundation. It’s become a really interesting model. That for me is a thrill, combining tennis, painting and philanthropy.”

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