Matthew Mullins - Artist Statement
My work draws upon my fascination with visual perception and principles of nature. By integrating natural and human-made patterns, my processes complicate and prolong the viewing experience while inspiring a general sense of harmony and connection with nature, from seasonal shifts to planetary orbits.
Ultimately, my work aims to provide a more insightful and comprehensive view of the world beyond our individual identity. I consider my paintings, sculptures and solargraphs to be artifacts of light, space, time and felt experience. I see no distinction between their earthly and celestial landscapes, just as I feel there is no separation between humans and stars or mountains and sky. As an artist I aim to unite these elements of nature in a way that is often missing from our current worldview.
We are more in tune with nature’s patterns and shifts than we realize, and it is this notion that I seek to bring forth through my work.
Matthew Mullins - Artist Bio
The work of Santa Fe artist Matthew Mullins seeks to acknowledge the interconnection between human consciousness and the natural world. From an earthly to celestial perspective, Mullins inspires viewers to contemplate their place within nature’s grand expanse by depicting its connective rhythms, emotional effects and physical forces through painting, sculpture and photography. “My work aims to take us out of our earthly view and shift our individual focus to glimpse the larger web in which we are all connected,” says the artist.
Mullins has worked consistently as a professional artist for over 15 years. Originally from the Bay Area of California, he received his MFA from the University of California Berkeley, where he began his art career with photo-realistic watercolors. However, having always been drawn to pattern play and experimental processes that allow for more risk and ambiguity, Mullins soon transitioned from his comfortable illustrative style to the excitement of abstraction and the unpredictable. His shift to oil painting and patterned landscapes coincided with his move to New Mexico in 2011, where the high desert and nearby mountains continue to inspire him. Viewing Mullins’ current paintings is a meditative visual experience. Our mind toggles back and forth between human-made patterns and natural imagery until ultimately, we find harmony between the two.
In 2016, Mullins evolved his artistic practice to encompass wood sculpture and in 2017, began his experiential journey with pinhole photography and photograms. Incorporating these genres into his body of work allows Mullins to illustrate our innate connection with nature not just visually, but also physically and conceptually. A direct collaboration with earth, wind and sky, Mullins’ graphite and natural wood sculptures draw attention to nature’s adversity and abstract beauty while engaging the viewer from a different perspective. Another collaboration with the elements, Mullins’ photography meets the artist’s desire for risky processes and unexpected outcomes through the use of handmade pinhole cameras. The resulting photographs are artifacts of time that have played witness to nature’s physical forces and celestial patterns. Through a variety of mediums and methods, Mullins’ work points to the overarching idea that our physical and emotional bodies are supremely integrated and in tune with the shifts, patterns and rhythms of the natural world.