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Split Infinitives – Paintings by Martin Mull

Split Infinitives, Paintings by Martin Mull
Martin Mull, Split Infinitives

Martin Mull was an artist before he was an actor. He says in an interview with SCPR’s Offramp that he has been painting for close to 50 years. Martin Mull began painting as a child and continued painting throughout his youth.  He went on to earn both a bachelor of fine arts and a master of fine arts from Rhode Island School of Design. Martin Mull also performed as a musician early in his career and recorded several albums. He started playing music and acting for money to pay his rent. He says it was just luck that he has a successful career in entertainment. He says he paints everyday, it is what he trained to do, and show business is his hobby.

Martin Mull’s nearly monochromatic, almost photorealistic paintings consist of 1950s era images of people in strange poses or positions overlaid onto sometimes unrelated scenery. He says that the images are largely based on photos from old Life and Look magazines, or other people’s old family photos that his wife bought on eBay.

Paintings by Martin Mull are currently on exhibit at Samuel Freeman Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. The exhibition is called “Split Infinitives”.

About the exhibition, the gallery says:

“Mull’s nearly monochromatic palette creates oddly improbable, wistfully exquisite portraits of a time that never was. His muted tones evoke a handful of post-war promises – the malaise of industrialized plenty, the smiling suburban matron, the feigned largess of corporate polluters – to the refrain of the American work song. With a deft touch and confidence found only from a day-in-day-out craftsman’s pride, Split Infinitives enthralls viewers with its subdued grace—while simultaneously tugging the loose thread of failed expectation. This is the dramatic irony of Mull’s work: clever, confident, quick-witted and gorgeous paintings grown from the grass of midcentury America.”

The exhibition continues through December 18th, 2010.

Related blog posts:

Paintings by Martin Mull: Leap of Faith (December 8, 2012)

Seven Deadly Sins: Paintings by Martin Mull (December 8, 2008)

Visit the Pop Life Art homepage for links to many more celebrity painters.