An explanation of this work by Mark’s wife Lucy
Mark Mulroney is always daydreaming—mostly about sex. But lately he keeps turning to furniture. Not just to the overstuffed chair in the living room that’s got an oil slick stain where a head used to rest, but to the church bench from a childhood scheduled by mass, to the lone palm tree that provides an omen rather than shade in some illustrated adventure book. These are the objects that make up his world. And then there are the people too—in various stages of dress and undress. Like naked paper dolls waiting for their turn to be taken up and put into play, these bodies oscillate amongst the furniture of Mark’s mental cosmos.
Placed within the plane of the canvas, these bodies and objects begin to perform and watch each other. A muscled body becomes furniture for an over-tanned face. An empty drum set promises the release of a latent orgasm. Each picture is a scene of mutual—if not yet consummated—masturbation.
Describing the work of 18th-century French painter Antoine Watteau, the art critic Jud Perl wrote, “Art is the necessity of the unnecessary, a daydream reshaped through the imperatives of the painter’s rectangle canvas. And the power of certain great paintings, no matter how much self-conscious craft the artist brings to the work, is the quality of a daydream, an orchestration of elements whose meaning remains ambiguous or contradictory.”
No doubt the self-consciously meticulous and minimal tone of these pictures captivates and perhaps detours our attention from the perversely charged couplings, but this is the game of daydreaming, of rendering daydreams: to let meaning remain in flux while allowing isolated images to grab our attention and have the potential to play with each other and for each other before our eyes.
Mark Mulroney was born in Dutton, New York in 1977. Since then he has attended 12 years of Catholic school, traveled to Reno, Nevada and gone to a Black Sabbath reunion concert. When Mulroney is not busy with his many internet businesses he finds time to photograph his nephews after injuries and help his neighbors remove snow from their driveways.