For artist Catherine Mulligan, painting is a way of both exploring and expressing her relationship with the world in which she exists. Through diffused light and pigment, she reveals to her viewer a world replete with dichotomies: we find humor or absurdity in sadness, beauty in what is perceived to be grotesque and substance in the mundane.
As a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Mulligan has in her arsenal the traditional techniques employed by the old masters (some of her influences include Rembrandt, Chardin and de Hooch). As a contemporary painter, Catherine chooses to realize certain areas of her compositions while leaving others seemingly unfinished.
"I like the idea of things being partially developed”, she says in regard to what has become her signature style. “It’s a way to mimic how we perceive things.”
The inevitability of change is also felt quite strongly in Catherine’s work as her audience not only undergoes a shift in perspective, but the laborious layers contained within (underpainting, sanding, drawing, and overpainting) also reveal an intuitive process through which images organically emerge.
“I aim to contain and resolve through a painterly language (both precise and chaotic) my uncertainties and unmet hopes and desires. My (goal) is to create paintings that serve as explicit accounts of my visual and psychological experiences.”