Friday, March 11, 2011

Lecture 1: James Mullen

          This was my first artist lecture I have ever been too. I really enjoyed it. I was kind of nervous at first that the presentation was going to drag on and be boring. But I was completely wrong. James Mullen, a previous undergraduate from UNH, understood how boring some presentations used to be in art history. He started his presentation off by saying that he was going to go through the information quickly and not stay on one slide for 20 minutes.  His presentation included many examples of his work, but also the people that influenced him. He got his BFA in 1985 and his MFA in 1991. He received many awards. He started off his career just by doing paintings. Painting is what he was most interested in at UNH. His drawing one teacher, Craig, was one of his biggest influences. He had a very structured class and taught James a lot. It was interesting to see him talk about a teacher that is still here at UNH. He also mentioned John Hatch as a big influence in his life. This is where he got the influence to work with landscapes. James Mullen did a lot of work with landscapes. He also started to play around with the idea of still- lifes and landscapes in the same painting. This was very interesting to see and it was my favorite out of all of his work. He did a very good job making the balance work between the two.  He also worked with sculptures his senior year. He also explained how he was very shy as an undergraduate so this forced him to do a lot of self-portraits. He was intimidated by asking other people to pose for him.
            After his first 25 years working in the studio and having all of the time in the world, his life changed drastically. He became a father. This was a very big change in his life. He no longer had time to spend hour after hour in the studio. He had to some how change the way he worked to fit in his studio time and also his loving children. This is when he started looking at digital photography and incorporating that into his work. At first he just took pictures every where he went and later he formed them into paintings. He mentioned he was not a good photographer before he had children but I think he started to have a passion for it. After working with digital photography, he started to become really interested in panoramas. John Hatch used to do a lot of panoramas so he influenced James. This kind of work reveals the image from one side to the other. He also mentioned that it revealed time.
         The last part of his presentation, he explained how technology was involved in is later work because of having children. He used an iphone application that automatically made a panorama. They were really interesting looking and it really surprised me.  He also worked a lot with photoshop. He mentioned that he was very interested in using technology because the difference in time. It will take about 2 months to make just one painting but can take 2 sec. to make a beautiful digital image.
         Overall I really enjoyed this artist lecture. I feel like I got a lot out of it. I'm very happy that my first lecture was a good one because I would love to go to many more!

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