September 2007, Carter Mull @ Rivington Arms, New York

September 2007, Carter Mull @ Rivington Arms, New York
Subject (Umbrella, Rihanna featuring Jay-Z, Billboard Magazine Hot 100 Number 1 for weeks June 9 july 21, 2007), 2007, Fujiflex print, courtesy Rivington Arms, New York

Carter Mull is a modern artist in every expression. His work is about now; it explodes, riding through the viewer’s eyes in a torrent of color. It is beautiful in it’s aggressive dance, and I moved with it for more than a moment, unable to just breeze by the large scale prints covering the walls at the opening party, in search for another cold Budweiser.

Mull also composes wild sculptures like the one that I stumbled across in the back room of Rivington Arms. I loved all the small details and furiously painted pieces that composed sections of the carefully put together piled mess that took up the middle of the floor. I stared at this one for a particularly long time, and since I cannot concentrate on anything this was a miracle of art.

Mull pushes the medium of photography into new directions and I appreciate this as I have always felt that a lot of work presented in galleries is stale and redundant. It is all too slickly presented and this leads me to become bored or anxious and I tend to run flee from the room. Openings tend to have the same affect on me so I do not stay for long but I was made to inquire about the price of a certain piece as the girl I was with felt the need to maybe purchase it for her apartment. “I like the turquoise splash one.” She said and added, “ It would great by her couch.” I thoroughly agreed as I am always game for an expensive or frivolous moment, and I would love to be the kind of person who could support great artists with my checkbook. Someday, someday…

This was actually the first time I had ever entered a gallery opening with someone who had actually been struck enough to want a piece. It was in the back room on the right hand wall if you faced the back of the gallery, and I believe that it was the piece titled Maroon 5, as in the band, and I thought that maybe there was a connection to space, and time travel, and pop stars exploding into the cosmos. All these things immediately popped into my head. I had the feeling of floating through a field of asteroids before, but now it was heavier, more absurd, like getting onto the Billboard Top 100.

We discussed the prints and the process, which still baffles me and seems like some otherworldly method. We were standing by my Vespa putting our helmets on. I said how I had been suspicious at first, as I always am when I enter a gallery or museum, but I usually end up falling for it, as I did with Mull. It is like a new friend, you want to be careful making judgments because they might surprise you and Carter Mull is definitely full of surprises. It also inspires, in a way that is hard to place but you can feel it. It is an experience that changes not only your perception of art and its possibilities but of life as well, and for that Mr. Mull, I am grateful.

whitehot gallery images, click a thumbnail.

Brendan Wilcox

Brendan Wilcox is a journalist in New York City.

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