Roswell Museum and Art Center

January 15 - February 28, 2016

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 



 

 

 


 

Cherry Bomb
acrylic, spray paint, tar paper, nails, 36" x 58" x 2"
2005 - 2015

 

"Dear Moth,
New Mexico is quiet and open and you could go days without seeing another person. It’s cool to be in that void. I love not filling it with podcasts. Or constant action. I think sitting and looking at something I’ve painted is a way of working on it. It feels as if it’s becoming something even after it’s done. Is that possible? And I’m not just talking about me finding out what the work is about because I’m pretty sure I don’t know all the synapses that fired off from memories and things pre-verbal like pheromones or body language, or when you look at something and you don’t really see it because you are thinking about something else but you take it in nonetheless and it becomes part of you not just mentally but physically too. I think this is why it feels like my hands have a mind of their own and I’m surprised by what comes out in a painting. And I think my fascination with the body mind relationship is a big part of why I LOVE PING PONG SO MUCH. It’s surprising and exciting when you react quickly to the ball when you never registered the conscious thought to move. That’s really what all the work I’ve been making out here in New Mexico is about: the story behind the story behind the story. And it’s about always looking to the way the painting was made when thinking about what the painting means. Moth, I think there’s a low grade hum of anxiety that’s vibrating through my life. Probably everyone has it. I think it’s just being human. It’s awareness of now and how quickly now vanishes and how we are constantly stepping into the future. AND WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S OUT THERE. Terrifying. But we do it so often, every fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a second we step into the future and so that low grade hum of anxiety is just part of us. But it’s a real horror story if you stop to think about it. And, yes, it’s really exciting too. I think that’s why I make my work the way I do. I want to own the anxiety by making something I’ve never thought of or seen before. And use paint to do it. Paint is slippery; it’s hard to control and changes form over time. Sometimes it’s transformed into characters or objects and sometimes I use paint to paint paint drips. I like it when the images are close to nameable. I like when something’s off in a painting and that off business makes it feel more real. I don’t think narrative readings of my work make sense. Things aren’t clear, ever, in anything, so a certain amount of abstraction and ambiguity seems to me to be a truer reflection of how complex human experience can be. Moth, it’s like I’m in some improv show when I work (except what I make can be dark and confusing, so maybe it’s more like a great dream?) You know how in improv (or in a dream) when someone presents a situation and you have to accept it in order to move on? You have to say “yes, and…” and then add to the scene? Painting is like that. I can paint a line that feels right and build off it. Even if I paint a line that feels wrong, I can build off it too. I can build off whatever and amplify the dexterity and trust required to say, yes I accept what’s happening, I have to make a choice, even though it might feel random, it’s not, because remember your body stores all the things you experience and it’s in you and there’s super complex stories percolating in your body that involve things verbal and non-verbal—like maybe the smell of a matt black paint and how you just know its shape is round and that’s associated with the idea of thresholds both physical and mental which makes you think of how you feel when you have to say goodbye to your beautiful friend Moth. It feels impossible to do anything random when your subconscious is always taking notes. It reminds me of what Rumi said: “You are the truth from foot to brow. Now, what else would you like to know?” Love, Moth"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noon Optimist
acrylic, unstretched canvas, 73" x 57"
2015

 

 


I Don't Really Want to Die
acrylic, spray paint, Sculpt-it, pillowcase, 28" x 34" x 2"
2015

 





Threshold Blues
acrylic, gesso, unstretched canvas, 79" x 45"
2015

 
   

 

Bridget Mullen, born in Minnesota, holds an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and a BAE from Drake University. She has received two grants from the Albert K. Murray Fine Arts Fund, and fellowships from Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2013), Yaddo (2014), and The Fine Arts Work Center (2010-2011 and 2014-2015). Solo shows include The University of North Georgia, Gainesville; The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts; and in 2016, Satellite Contemporary in Las Vegas, Nevada.
http://bridgetmullen.com/