Karl Mullen was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1954 and now resides in
Masachussetts. With no formal training, he has developed his own approach and methods of painting. Using a unique vocabulary, process and variety of material, Mullen is able to work outside the boundaries of conventional art.
“The style itself is raw, direct and sometimes unsubtle, but there is plenty of ‘guts’ . . . underneath the outwardly ‘hot’ manner there is a balancing ‘cool’ streak,” says the Irish Times.
Mullen has been known to use anything and everything as his canvas from paper to automobile hoods, toilet paper, discarded jewelry cards, receipts, coffee cups, parking tickets, milk cartons, old books, bibles, movie stubs, business cards, paper napkins and US army bandages. His paint is raw powder pigments, walnut oil and wax medium and is painted with his hands; his creativity and energy have no boundaries.
Mullen’s unpretentious passion for creation results in colors and textures that emit a tangible soulfulness, which has been recognized nationally. His work is regularly displayed at the New York Outsider Art Fair, Folkfest Atlanta, Outsiders/Outside show in Michigan and the Intuit Show in Chicago.
His images seem to be born of Irish mists… with dreams, boxers, mountains, ghosts, whiskey, cities, and love. “I am as concerned with magic as I am with meaning. I still cling to the notion that art can mean something – that the individual can mean something. That, beyond the social mask, art and art making are a vital and necessary activity,” says Mullen.