Song lyrics collected by the artist reflecting the sentiments found in his paintings and drawings were the inspiration for the exhibition’s title, Some Other Day in the Garden.
These songs are intriguing because of their nostalgic and romantic themes that speak of life experiences that are often, like Appalachia itself, at once idyllic and difficult.
Paul Mullins’ lush paintings and masterful works on paper depict “sad dog” portraits, fisherman, and fish, drawn from fond memories of his upbringing in rural America. Mullins’ large scale painting, Catch, captures both aggression and sensitivity through his technique and subject matter. An almost abstract painting of the “day’s catch”, Catch, brings to life a fleshy pile of wiggling fish, evidence of both abundance and pride with lingering traces of suffering and sadness. Mullins’ earlier paintings of muscle cars, grand champion hogs, and bulls more overtly addressed the stereotypes of the god-ol’-boy and manifest masculinity. Like those early paintings, Catch eloquently speaks of similar issues: the common mans’ pride, masculinity, and Mullins’ life experience, however more subtly.
Mullins has exhibited extensively, with solo shows at Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Ambrosino, Miami, FL; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Aaron Paker Gallery, Chicago, IL; lyonswiergallery, New York, NY; Michael Berger Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA; and the Nathan Larramendy Gallery, Ojai, CA. Group exhibitions include the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA; among others. His work has been reviewed or featured in Flash Art, 7 x 7 Magazine, Artnews, Flaunt, the Miami Herald, the New Art Examiner, the Washington Post, Artnet.com , and other publications. Mullins received his MFA from Ohio State University, his BFA from Marshall University, and is currently Assistant Professor of Art at San Francisco State University.