Erin Mulligan Exhibit on Display Friday at the Hub
by Jara Anton
Rarely do you stumble across an artist with raw, unencumbered imagination while still being so painfully intricate, exact and purposeful. Further, temper that with finding an image from that artist that you’d like to hang on your wall and see every day. Well, I have great news. Erin Mulligan is a local artist that is able to excite, confuse and delight with her paintings of fanciful, sinister, cuddly and always thought-provoking works. Mulligan’s work will be displayed this Friday, June 3, at The Hub, from 6-10pm.
As most incredibly bright, artistic children, Erin created a world of her own within her sketchbooks. Each character was painstakingly detailed and had a world and life force of their own. Soon, she was urged to start painting. Saddled with the task of making these drawings come to life, she created her long labor, delivering piece after piece of eye and brain food. Fast forward to adulthood when her adorable pixie face hides a world of faraway aliens, vultures having tea, fire breathing rabbits and flying mice framing a cat on a unicycle.
Now, the artist has over 200 pieces to display. At the ripe old age of 31, Mulligan has been showing her work in the area for close to ten years at places like The Hub, Market Street Art Spot, Little Art Gallery, Massillon Museum, Cyrus Framing and Translations Art Gallery. Hieronymus Bosch and Norman Rockwell have been influences in her career, but her style is all her own.
Her “Symphony of Life” collection was on display in 2014, with paintings that were so detailed and lovingly created that they actually looked like high definition photographs. It was where you first saw her “Frabbit Apocalypse”, a whirling image of lithe, sinewy frog bodies with rabbit heads. The rabbit heads are done with such fine and sophisticated brush strokes, it sounds cheesy, but its like you can see them come alive. As you intently lean in, its like you can almost imagine Erin’s purposeful, precise hands flying over each singular face giving life with the depth of shade and color.
While marveling at her work, its easy to plunge yourself into the vivid mind of this artist. The juxtaposition of sharp and soft textures, lizard heads on human bodies, fuzzy rabbit heads on smooth frog muscles, is nothing short of intoxicating. In Katywire, Mulligan featured a soft pink cat with feathered wings and the light from an angler fish on its head, peering into a group of “slugbots” (don’t bother, its a creature from Erin’s own lovely brain). Words are not enough to truly describe Mulligan’s work. You really just need to come to The Hub and see for yourself. *Crossing my fingers she’ll have the crucifixion painting up and ready for the public to see again—-I’ve only seen pictures and I’m dying to see it in person. Make sure you get yourself to The Hub this Friday, Mulligan doesn’t make it onto the scene very often, she’s quite happy to be home working, enjoying her solitude.
The Hub Art Factory
336 6th St NW, Canton, OH 44702