Crude Oil: The Work of Karl Mullen, Roderick McClain & Linwood Hart

Crude OilThursday, March 21
5:30 – 8 PM

Live Music by Reid Johnson of Schooner

On The Street: Pie Pushers


Crude Oil: The Work of Karl Mullen, Roderick McClain & Linwood Hart

March 21, 2013 – April 13, 2013

Opening Reception with Artists: Thursday, March 21, 1013 5:30-8:00 PM


Karl Mullen:

karl_mullensKarl Mullen, born 1954 in Dublin, Ireland, lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts where he works in a studio in the cow stall of a nineteenth-century barn. He has developed his own distinctive approach to art making, utilizing walnut oil, raw powder pigment and a wax medium that coalesce into color-saturated, luminous images. Painting largely with his hands, Karl creates primitive, poetic figures that float on fields of color.

Karl’s ground of choice is artist-stock Arches paper, old book pages, sheet music, photographs and other ephemera that glow with the passage of time. Recently he has been experimenting with non-traditional materials such as wine, tea, salt, Indian spices, spit and ash, applied with bottles, knives and other kitchen utensils to give a drafts-manly quality to his work.

Mullen’s paintings reside in many private collections in the U.S. and Europe and in the permanent holdings of The Polk Museum, The Hurn Museum and Robert Morris College. They were also showcased in the PBS syndicated TV series Rare Visions & Roadside Revelations and are included frequently in art/design magazines such as Home Accents and Elle Décor. His work is shown annually at The New York Outsider Art Fair, The Intuit/SOFA Show , Chicago, Folk Fest, Atlanta and in galleries in the US and Europe.

Roderick McClain:

Roderick McClain

Roderick McClain

Roderick McClain’s work takes place in medias res, often with a face emoting the crux of a particular story. With text giving voice to character, Roderick’s mixed media creations illustrate a moment in a life, using a few details to hint at a full-blown context. Roderick is interested in how a few words can place a character in a moment of intense relationship with someone or something.

As a writer as well as an artist, Roderick is working on a novel about how a traumatic brain injury affects the lives and choices of a small family in the rural Midwest. As an artist, Roderick sketches from old photo albums, mug shots and memory in an ongoing study that explores the role of a human face within a story. Availability of materials often influences the kind of work he makes. Most of his materials are found or second-hand, with the color palette dictated by whatever media is most accessible.

Roderick was born in central Illinois in 1978. Son of a botanist and a bookkeeper, he grew up in a long-gone prairie, spending time in his grandmother’s garden and watching a lot of TV. After absorbing the ethos of a small Midwestern town dependent on commercial agriculture, Roderick took to art, music and writing. He co-founded an independent record store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, toured the country as a musical artist and worked as radio journalist. He has an MFA in fiction writing and lives with his habits in Durham.

Linwood Hart:

Kingmark - Linwood Hart

Kingmark – Linwood Hart

Linwood paints with acrylics and other materials in a mixed-media format that sometimes takes on the look of encaustic work. Items are often embedded in the canvas and sometimes become totally covered; other times, small bits show through via scratching or rubbing. Linwood uses a variety of instruments to apply the paint: fingers, brushes, razors, scrap paper, plastic bags, or as he says, “whatever it takes.”

His work evolves in progressive layers of paint and he rarely completes a piece in one session; usually months after he’s started, sometimes even years and he’s surprised by where the paintings begin and where they end. Linwoood see’s it as an ongoing journey, filled with many unexpected twists and turns and discoveries.

The colors, textures, and themes almost always involve a connection to his childhood growing up on a farm, his love of photography, and his obsession with his own mortality which he only realized the connection to this past year. He’s now trying to make the most of each moment. Painting gives him that profound sense of making every moment count and hopes his viewers are profoundly affected in some way, too.

About Outsiders Art & Collectibles:

Outsiders Art & Collectibles is Durham’s only gallery focusing on the genre of Southern Outsider Art. Outsider’s owner, Pamela Gutlon prides herself on using the gallery, not only as a venue for exposing Durham to Outsider Art, but also as a means towards creating community.