MARTIN MULL: The Pursuit of Happiness

28 November 2007 - 25 January 2008
28 Nov 2007 - 25 Jan 2008 London

In this affectionately derisive series of works in The Pursuit of Happiness, Martin Mull takes a voyeuristic peak over the white picket fence, and penetrates through niceties of post-war suburban culture. A concrete extension of his previous endeavours to engage with the complexities lurking beneath the façade of life “keeping up with the Jones’,” Ben Brown Fine Arts is pleased to present these previously unseen new works.

Being quite the Renaissance man, Mull is known as much for his successes in music, comedy and television as he is for establishing a reputation as an artist. Armed with a sense of surreal humour and a working knowledge of the film making process, Mull delivers paintings which compactly distil complex emotional interchanges with objective clarity and wit. The Lure of Real Estate betrays the ideal of domestic bliss with a kiss, in Performing Husband, the notion of husband as bread winner is turned in to an absurd reality.

Based as much on lifestyle magazines as on life experience, and using visual material from both, Mull’s works are windows in to the lost ‘golden years’ of the 1950s with a knowing backward glance. Painting an assembled montage of cut-outs from fifties advertisements, chintz and photographs taken in his childhood, String Theory for Dummies is representative of the impact these visual and textural phenomena impose on our consciousness, and how Mull uses these evocative materials to stimulate our senses in to re-visiting that specific time.