Kevin Murphy

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Kevin Murphy

ARC Associate Living Master TM

13 artworks

American painter and teacher

Born 1968


  • Artworks
  • Biography
  • Galleries

Mr. John Prestbo

Oil on Linen

50.8 x 38.1 cms | 20 x 15 ins


Mr. Peter Biondi

Oil on Linen

147.3 x 91.4 cms | 58 x 36 ins

Mr. Rich Gaspari

Oil on Linen

167.6 x 132.1 cms | 66 x 52 ins


Mr. Richard Herd

Oil on Linen

152.4 x 101.6 cms | 60 x 40 ins


Ms. Annie Ryan

Oil on Linen

152.4 x 76.2 cms | 60 x 30 ins


Ms. Ashley Novitski

Oil on Linen

132.1 x 76.2 cms | 52 x 30 ins


Ms. Halley Murphy

Oil on Linen

76.2 x 55.9 cms | 30 x 22 ins


Ms. Jody Lynn Nye

Oil on Linen

132.1 x 101.6 cms | 52 x 40 ins


Ms. Karen Shaw

Oil on Linen

137.2 x 132.1 cms | 54 x 52 ins


Ms. Katie Shaw

Oil on Linen

147.3 x 132.1 cms | 58 x 52 ins

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With no measurable formal training, Kevin Murphy began his career in the art industry at the age of 23 as an illustrator. Over the eight years that followed, he was commissioned to create artwork for nearly 250 commercial works. His deep client base was built around such major entities as Random House, R.J. Reynolds, Viacom, Putnam/Penguin, National Geographic, Milton Bradley, St. Maarten Press, Barnes & Noble, Sega, MTV, L’Oreal USA, Virgin Records, Lucas Arts, and the Rolling Stones.

In 1997, Kevin, working alongside Stefan Sagmeister, was commissioned by the Rolling Stones to create the iconic image that would adorn the Bridges to Babylon album cover along with all of the merchandise for the tour. An ultra-high profile image with global reach, the Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon commission was easily one of the most coveted illustrations of the decade.  In August 1997, with an 85 ft banner of Kevin’s painting draped from the Brooklyn Bridge as a backdrop, the Rolling Stones announced their tour and album release to the world.

With this monumental project behind him, the notoriety that came along with it and all options opened to him, Kevin began reconsidering the path his career was traveling. After years of creating artwork for commercial use, an interest in the historical traditions of art had developed and were now swaying him in new directions. Kevin began investigating venues that would offer greater artistic freedom while allowing him to utilize his skills to create works with deeper meaning and purpose. By 1999 years end, Kevin turned the page on his life and career in the commercial art industry and took a self-imposed two year hiatus from painting. During this time he enjoyed his first vacation in almost a decade.



Upon his return to painting in 2001, Kevin's renewed focus in art was directed towards traditional portraiture. Though this niche was not initially his main focus, a constant stream of requests for these family heirlooms eventually gave way to what has become the primary focus of his work over the past seventeen years. Kevin attributes his interest in portraiture to the challenges it consistently poses, the opportunity to meet people with whom his path would not otherwise cross and the genre’s status within the hierarchy of historical art. 

To illustrate the value of portraiture to potential clients, Kevin enjoys sharing this thought on the impact that a simple portrait can hold: “George Washington has been consistently counted amongst the most recognized men in the world. Couple this with the knowledge that George Washington died 35 years before the invention of the camera, one begins to get a sense of the importance of portraiture. Consider the fact that our only grasp of what the Father of our Nation looked like is derived from his painted portrait. This perspective breathes real life into a form of art that so few people these days consider for themselves. When people discuss legacy, we need look no further than this age-old tradition for the greatest means of creating an enduring record of one’s life.” 

Kevin has created approximately one hundred and fifty portraits since entering the field. His portrait clients come from a broad range of backgrounds and vocations.



In 2009, Kevin broadened his footprint in the art world with the founding of the Art Academy in Somerset County, New Jersey. This school was designed as a means to share the knowledge he had accumulated over nearly two decades of working in the professional art world. In the years since the Art Academy’s founding, this program has shown itself to be a true standout with unparalleled results. Students have enjoyed a 100% acceptance rate to top art universities, while consistently being awarded Presidential level scholarships averaging nearly $85,000 per student and topping out at $146,000. In addition, high school aged students at the Art Academy have been recognized in national and international competitions contending, in some cases, directly with top-tier professionals.

More focused on training students to develop a skill set in artistic fundamentals and business as a foundation to build viable careers, Kevin doesn’t encourage students either way as far as entering into competition. Though his students fair very well when they choose to do so. 

In 2012, with only sixteen months of training, Zoe Zylowski, a sixteen year old Art Academy student was recognized in the 8th annual ARC Salon with a Chairman’s Choice Award for her painting ‘Inheretence’. She was also awarded first place in the Artist magazine annual student competition for figurative work that same year. 

In 2018 Iris Liu, another Art Academy student was recognized with first place for the DiVinci initiative award with her painting ‘Her Familiars’.

With the success of the flagship Academy in Somerset County NJ, a second school opened in September 2015 in Hunterdon county NJ. 

In October of 2017 the Art Academy program was digitized and launched as the Evolve: Realistic art training program for dissemination as an online educational format. In its first six months, this online program has begun to educate students in representational art in thirty four countries around the world.  Its initial results across the online student base easily matching the consistency of results in the brick and mortar schools.



In 2017 Kevin founded an online art school called Evolve.  Within 6 months of the launch, the program expanded to hundreds of students in 34 countries around the world. 

Kevin transitioned directly from illustrative work to privately commissioned portraiture without any intermediaries. He has built his career around selling his paintings directly to private clients.