Spencer Murphy

Spencer Murphy, One Wheel Bad

Spencer Murphy, One Wheel Bad

about the work

A culture of young, inner city bikers has grown up over the past few years in the UK. Inspired by the 12 O’Clock Boys of Baltimore, young men and women have taken to the streets on dirt bikes, quads and all manner of motorbikes to perform stunts. Often hidden in the mazes of industrial estates, where they won’t draw too much unwanted attention, riders will gather on weekends and perform stunts up and down a strip. 

There is an air of the outlaw Wild West – just replace the horses with dirt bikes and the denim with Adidas tracksuits. This is a small sample of a project which is still in progress.

about the artist

Spencer was born in 1978 and grew up in the Kentish countryside. Raised in relative isolation, miles from the nearest shop or school, Spencer often found himself with only his imagination for company and the surrounding woodland as his playground. It was a combination of this imagination and an early discovery of his mother’s back issues of Life and National Geographic that sparked an early enthusiasm for photography at the age of 11. As a result, his parents bought him his first camera and photography quickly became a channel for his creativity.

Spencer now lives and works in London, dividing his time between creating his own artwork and taking on photographic commissions. He has contributed to many magazines, including The Guardian Weekend, The Telegraph Magazine, Time, Monocle and Wallpaper. His portraits have also appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone Magazine, GQ and Dazed and Confused. He has exhibited throughout Europe and North America and was named as one of the Hyeres Festival’s emerging photographers of 2008. He has also been included in the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition 7 times between 2006 and 2013 and in 2013 was announced as the overall winner. His work is now held in the NPG’s Permanent Collection.


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