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Behind the Mask with Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy's artistic style is as unique as the legendary painters and sculptors that he admires. Peter was born in San Diego, California in 1984. Though largely self-taught Peter has learned much from his childhood art teacher, and by working with several other California based artists and sculptors. His work has been on display on this te as well as many others and you get nothing but potive reactions when he releases a new bust or mask. What really stands out about Peter's work in my opinion is his amazing ability to capture the layers of depth and colors in his paint work. It's like nothing else I have ever seen. Now onto Peter's first ever interview. We are very gracious to have done the honors....

How did you get started in the buness of mask making?

When I was a little bit younger I’d wanted a mask of the Predator for halloween, I had one from a Halloween shop – but it drove me crazy that the dreadlocks were sculpted on, and that the paint job was not accurate.

By the time I was 13 or 14 I had been going to art lessons every Monday for a few years.

I had made a couple sculptures (poor ones) and ran across the Monster Maker’s webte with a sample of their mask making book.

The idea to make my own Predator mask struck me, and my mother bought me the book and some clay for Christmas.

I started the Predator sculpture right away, it took me over a year just to finish the sculpture – thankfully I’ve been able to make things move much more quickly nce then.Please describe in detail what lead to your pason for the horror genre and or the Halloween holiday?

When I was 6, somehow my father convinced my mom that it would be a good idea to take the family to see Terminator 2 in the theater.

So we went.

I was obsessed, I begged him to take me to see it again – when it came out on video I must have watched it twice a day for months.

A few years later my dad couldn’t convince my mom to let us watch Predator.

So, naturally the next chance he had he rented it and watched it with my brother and I – and I was hooked on another one.

I got my hands on as many Terminator and Predator toys and model kits as I could.Who or whom was the biggest influence in your life (doesn’t have to be mask related) and how did that effect who you are today?

This is a hard question for me to answer without feeling hokey, but honestly my wife has really inspired me to be a better person and a harder worker.What do you do in your spare time when you are not making masks or doing something work related.

I like to spend my free time with my wife.

We like to go to the movies, vit museums and check out things around town.

Also, I love painting and sculpting in general, so when I’m not working on masks or monsters I try to work on oil paintings and more traditional sculptures.

Another thing I like to do when I get a chance is make short movies, I have a few friends that I like to get together with and it’s always fun to see what we can come up with.What was your first sculpt and or mask making experience? Were you a natural or did it take time to hone your skills? How much have you learned nce then?

My first sculpture was a ‘generic’ human head - it was a nightmare.

My art teacher told me that maybe sculpting wasn’t my thing.

My second sculpture I made was a velociraptor, it turned out a lot better, but it was no Michelangelo.

I think it turned out okay because at 12 I was more interested in dinosaurs than the human face, so I was more determined to get it right.What project have you worked on in the past that you would conder your favorite?

I made some ½ scale clay sketches of Michelangelo and Leonardo.

Even though it is rough and I never finished it, I’m really happy with the way Michelangelo looks.How has being a husband, father, or being in a relationship affected your work and are they supportive of what you do?

I just got married this year, but before that I dated my wife for four years.

She has been amazing and has always supported my dreams and pushed me to work harder and to be the best artist I can. What were some other low points in your career (if any) when you had to take time to reflect and ask yourself if this buness isn’t right for you?

It hasn’t always been the eaest, but I know that I’ve got my talents for a reason, so any time I’ve had my doubts – its hard to forget that I’m really only good at this one thing.If you were on your death bed and could only make one more thing that would be your "Masterpiece" what would it be?

I sure hope I don’t procrastinate that long, but it is quite posble.

I get teary eyed when I see a great statue or a really great painting.

I’d really just love to make a work that causes others to have the same experience I have.Your paintwork is some of the best I have ever seen. What were some of the influences that led to having such incredible finishing work on your creations?

Thank you, you are too kind.

Viting Jordu Schell’s studio and seeing how lifelike his latex pieces are really blows me away, I want to create something that believable – where you don’t look at it and go, okay that area there is airbrushed with a big shadow, and that’s the highlight.

I like paintwork that’s hard to believe that it is paint. I hope I can create that effect. If you could work on a slasher horror franchise mask? Such as Halloween, NOES, TCM, Friday the 13th, etc what would it be and why?

My favorite slasher kind of film is the original Halloween.

I was commisoned to do a Halloween mask when I was in high school.

It’s been a while, so I’d like to give it another shot sometime.What upcoming project if any can you share with us? And what are your plans for the upcoming year? (Anything you wish to disclose here about future projects are welcomed.)

Right now I’m working on a Conan the Barbarian sculpture, Dr. Gogol and a few other things including some original degns. Thanks so much for the interview Justin and to all the members of HorrorBid. Now onto the new word association part of the interview. We gave Peter a few phrases and he gave his first reaction. This is something we hope to do more of in the future. Jack Frost (The horror film):

A secret favorite

North Carolina:

Just moved to Raleigh

Ravioli: Tastes delicious

Irish: 53% according to my brother’s calculations.


September 24, 2009

Water Based Clay:

My favorite, even for small pieces.


Looks like gummy bears.


I’m the youngest of three children.

My ster is the oldest. A huge thanks to Peter for taking the time to t down with us. We always enjoy these interviews as we treat these as a general look at what makes an artist tick. Peter's work is amazing and we strongly urge you to check out his te. We know you'll see something you have to have....


Now onto some rare Peter Murphy pictures from over the years..." class="photoborder" />

Horror Domain - Cursed Evil Overlord Saturday 9/19/2009 at 07:56 PM | 55027
great interview and i had no idea he was so young.

customcritters Saturday 9/19/2009 at 09:31 PM | 55033
god he is talented!

El Diablo Saturday 9/19/2009 at 10:06 PM | 55036
outstanding interview. If I remember correctly, Peter used to post under the Crazy Clayer when he was much younger and that was a really really long time

take care, Tommy
Homicidal9 Sunday 9/20/2009 at 12:32 AM | 55044
outstanding interview. If I remember correctly, Peter used to post under the Crazy Clayer when he was much younger and that was a really really long time

take care, Tommy

Tommy you are 100% correct. He even uses it in one of his e-mails to this day....

Horror Domain - Cursed Evil Overlord Sunday 9/20/2009 at 03:46 AM | 55050
Great inteview and you guys should conder yourselves lucky to be the first one to interview him. I have a feeling he is going to make it in Hollywood the way he sculpts.
BrandyWine Sunday 9/20/2009 at 08:04 PM | 55069
Great interview.

His DeadGirl is one of my dream pieces
chubacabra Monday 9/21/2009 at 03:21 AM | 55082
The guy's talent level is out of this world. Kudos!
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zeptronikszas Tuesday 9/22/2009 at 08:28 PM | 55156
always a great read guys.
joelsparks Tuesday 9/22/2009 at 10:59 PM | 55163
Great read. Thanks for posting.
Matthew Mayhem Wednesday 9/23/2009 at 06:46 PM | 55192
Peter's one of the greatest talents in this industry.

Nice interview as usual.
BIGKen Wednesday 9/23/2009 at 09:55 PM | 55201