Mulvenna's work embraces the patterns of Nature both in subject matter and in the development of his paintings. Layers of paint and imagery emerge and recede, darken, glow from within and intensify, push and fade. Mulvenna's process searches out harmony with the subjects and the environments, distills a rhythm of visual essence. The paintings seem to exist comfortably into their frames to then push with pulse back out into something new. Environments are familiar despite the disconnect from common appearance. His surreal landscapes are slightly abstracted, maybe skewed is a better word, moving and dancing like dream-images following a hike in the woods. One recognizes immediately the living scenes, whether swimming in an ebbing aquatic light, rapt in a transcendent light, or spying a classical dancer juxtaposed in a brackish chiaroscuro. The saturation of life is cathartic in the vibrant palette and the easy imagery, with figures flying playfully across lush fields and schools of fish languidly pushed in current through a diptych.
Mulvenna's work is life affirming. One can see his own efforts in connecting to Nature, in finding his place within the complex weave of things, and then transcribing that marvel into these paintings. His work honestly derives from an artist searching for something that is universal and relate-able, and it does so with glimpses of beauty that elevate the viewer for a fine moment.
Darren Mulvenna joined Fine Art America on December 26th, 2014.