Talking with Seth Mulvey / by Lori Parkerson

This November, REDEEM presents four Untitled works by Brooklyn-based artist, Seth Mulvey. It's the first time we've featured non-local art. (In the past, we've shared work by friends like Mark Harris and Kelly Towles.) Now seemed a good time to welcome a friend from New York. Like many of our customers, we regularly travel up to see friends and shop. We liked the idea of bringing a bit of New York down to D.C. and contributing to the symbiosis between the two cities.

Seth lives and works in Brooklyn. The subtlety of his most recent work really appealed to us. After our 8th Anniversary Party, we asked Seth to answer a few questions about style and art. Here's what he had to tell us:

 

What do you like to wear? 

Personally, I like clothes that are made well with nothing extra or unnecessary. If it's a jacket, it should be very basic. I want it to be good but not superfluous. Simple and nice. I like my clothing to be functional. 

 

Do you have two wardrobes - clothing for painting and clothing that's strictly for your life outside the studio?

Usually, I do. I keep a few things as studio clothes because, depending on what I'm working on, it can get a bit messy. It's usually just super simple - an old pair of pants, t-shirt, something long-sleeved. 

 

For a period of time, your paintings were figurative and quite colorful. These days, they're more abstract, and the colors are very quiet. Tell us a little bit about the change? 

For a long time, I loved learning about figurative art and everything that came with it - lines, figure, etc. There's such a rich history there.  At some point, I became interested in the other things that art can be. I almost had to admit this interest to myself. My instincts led me to explore art concepts like gestural abstraction. I began processing those styles, and, in the last year, I've felt like I can hear more clearly what I want to do. It's not an exploration. I want to consider the canvas as a whole object instead of just as a support for my mark-making. 

 

We've talked a little bit about the purpose of art making. Dare I ask, what are you expressing or communicating through the pieces now at REDEEM?

These works are non-narrative. I'm not trying to tell a story or help people meditate or come to a quiet place. They're not intended to give the viewer some explicit experience. I am interested in the viewer's experience of the work, but I made these more because they are interesting to me. These are shapes and colors and a form of art which I like and want to see; these are pieces I feel strongly about.

 

You were in D.C. in early November for a very short trip (less than 48 hours). Was the city able to make any kind of impression on you? 

Yes! I got to see only a few areas, but I talked with a fairly good number of people. There is an old-ness visible, which I like, and a seemingly compressed history and a certain toughness.

// 

Stop by the shop to see Seth's work. Pricing is available upon request.