grayDUCK Gallery presents John Mulvany: "Secure the Perimeter" opening reception
John Mulvany: "Secure the Perimeter" started out as an exhibition about his neighborhood in East Austin; an American neighborhood in the throes of metamorphosis and change. Hi initial intention was to use the neighborhood as an allegory for this particular point in our country’s history. Throughout the last two years in America there has been an acute sense of a convulsive national identity-crisis. The current social and political moment encapsulated by the Pandora’s Box opened by the 2016 election has made us wake up and pay attention like never before.
Our obsession is with the carnivalesque horror-show of our national politics when, what we really need to pay attention to is our community, our immediate environment and our immediate moment. It seems impossible to be a thinking, engaged artist without grappling with the current moment. The anxiety about the news cycle amplifies both our appreciation for the immediate beauty of our environment and the sense that we might have screwed it all up already. The schizophrenia of intense appreciation and regret. Much of contemporary life is played out through our screens, scrolled through with compulsive anxiety and impatience. Art in general and painting particularly invites us to look slowly, to engage fully with our minds and our hearts.
Everything in life is present in the neighborhood. If you are inclined to walk around with your eyes and senses open, you notice things you might otherwise miss. A dead grackle in the road, the unkempt beauty of east-side Austin backyards, the violent magenta-pink veil of cherry blossom enveloping a vacant house, a cockroach carried away by ants. This exhibition is an invitation to look closer. The neighborhood, like the natural world, is in a constant state of creation, transformation and decay.
Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display through October 20.