Friday, July 30, 2010

MERGE: Alumni Exhibition featured artist Todd Muller

Todd Muller (’00, art) is this Friday’s featured MERGE artist. Born and raised in Denver, Muller was encouraged by his parents to draw. He picked up photography in his teens, enjoying how he saw the world through his viewfinder and developing from that a sense of composition. After a trip to Italy, Muller began painting, which eventually led to his pursuit of BA in art. While attending Metro State Caravaggio, Turner, Pollock and Rothko influenced him. “It was the portraits of Sargent that were most influential,” he explains. “Portraits would be the primary focus of my painting.” Upon graduation he was selected for the Senior Honors Thesis Exhibition. Since graduating in the spring of 2000, Todd continues to work with drawing, painting and photography.

Metro State: How would you characterize your art?
Todd Muller: My work seems to straddle two opposite worlds in art – objective and non-objective. Most of what I do is figurative – lots of figure/gesture drawing and portraiture. I also like abstract expressionism, throw in some photography as well.

MS: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it.
TM: The piece in the show is abstract expressionist. I was very pleased with how it turned out and am trying to build on it. It was inspired by bad weather and a desire to broaden my color pallet.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
TM: I think Andrew Spear influenced my non objective work most. He pushed my perceptions of art and the use of imagery (or the elimination of). Simplification/minimization.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
TM: It's hard to say. After school I went backwards in a way. I decided to completely relearn drawing by attending life drawing sessions. In terms of painting, it still feels new. I hope that my two styles eventually merge together.

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE.
TM: I entered this painting because I think it's a strong work and a personal favorite. It was a gift to my brother.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new CVA facility?
TM: This is a good opportunity especially since I have not been very active in the Denver art scene. Having a regular job does make it difficult to promote myself, I'd much rather be in the studio drawing or painting. I'm pleased that I got accepted.

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