Past: Mark Mulhern - R.S.V.P.
I love painting because of the fullness of the process. It involves my imagination at a deep and mysterious level. The risks, erasures, revisions and resolutions that go into the work are layered into the strata. The end result is the sum of this history. I want my paintings to speak to this process and also speak to the history of painting.
Recently, my work has explored the theme of festive gatherings: garden parties, cocktail parties, receptions and outdoor brocantes. Prompted by remembered celebrations as well as by the isolation of the pandemic , this subject has been an exciting involvement bringing virtually all of my interests in painting into play.
My work deals with the human figure and temporality. The figures in my work are caught in subtle gestures that suggest introspection and unselfconscious states of being. I want the viewer to identify with the figure through an empathetic relationship with the gesture. The isolation of the figure in the field is meant to focus the viewer on the subtle language of the body and limit the visual information to its greatest simplicity. Like the experience of a traveler in a foreign culture whose language skills are not proficient, I want the viewer's sensitivity to body language to heighten for the sake of connection.