"My name is Chris Murray, and I'm an artist
and I'm very talented... And I’m a dairy stocker at the Edge of the Woods organic grocery store in New Haven, Connecticut."Chris Murray
was born in 1960, after a long and difficult birth that included extended oxygen depravation, and which left Chris with cognitive disabilities that would later be diagnosed as a form of autism.
Chris Murray is the great grandson of Thomas Murray
, colleague of Thomas Edison, and creator of nearly 500 patents including the safety fuse
, and engineer
of much of New York city’s power grid in the first half of the 20th century. Because of this, Chris Murray was born into a life of great privilege. His Grandfather, Jack Murray
, was appointed by President Turman to run the Port Authority Of New York, but by the late 1970’s Jack's son, Chris’s father, Thomas, Jr. had lost it all: The real estate in South Hampton, his seat on the NYSE, their home along Central Park. All of the family’s wealth was gone. At age 52, on August 4th, 1979 Thomas Murray, Jr. walked into the ocean in South Hampton, and drowned
Four years after the death of his father, Chris stopped making cars out of construction paper and began to draw and paint buildings; first a log cabin in Maine, then the buildings of New York and South Hampton.
Fourteen years later, another South Hampton resident, designer Gloria Vanderbilt, saw one of Chris’ paintings at the home of an old friend of Chris’ mother, Janice. Gloria later suggested to another friend, Kerry Schuss, of Manhattan’s K S Art Gallery
, that he look at Chris’s work.
Kerry Schuss began to represent Chris in 1997. Chris had his first one-man show in New York in 1999. There is now great demand for his work
, and it earns him quite a bit of money, so much so that it has helped to return his mother to the Manhattan neighborhood they grew up in.
A documentary about their family was made by Chris’ brother, Thomas Murray, III called Dad’s in Heaven with Nixon
It's available in its entirety on Hulu