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Matt Mullican (American, b.1951)

Paintings

Also known as:  Mullican, Matthew

Birth Place: Santa Monica (Los Angeles county, California, United States)

Biography:

Who is painter Matt Mullican?

Matt Mullican is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work often covers sculptures, videos, paintings, printmaking, oil stick rubbings, and even banner-making. He is most often classified as a contemporary artist -- that amorphous definition that people use to try and classify the unclassifiable. That is because Mullican is a true original. Words fail when trying to describe his work, but the artist himself has stated that his work focuses on the “inner picture of reality”. That often means layers of meaning through symbols, colors, and even medium choice.

This revolutionary work has brought Mullican a large amount of critical acclaim from disparate areas of the art community. He has mounted exhibitions at the MoMa in New York, the Haus Der Kunst, and the National Gallery in Amsterdam.

What kind of art does Matt Mullican make?

Matt Mullican is a conceptual artist whose work can take many forms, from video to banner making, to oil stick rubbings. His work deals with his “inner picture of reality” and is achieved through hypnosis -- at times this happens before a live audience. During his process, Mullican draws and writes in a “travel diary” of his experiences during his hypnosis. From there he can choose excerpts that have significant meaning to explore in his work. His obsession with the language of signs (semiotics) has given his work an almost mystical quality that Mullican augments with his own surrealistic imagery and color choices.

How did painter Matt Mullican get started?

Matt Mullican was born in Santa Monica, California to a pair of artists in 1951. Mullican’s artistic inclinations were encouraged at a young age, and Mullican went on to receive his BFA from CalArts in 1974. During this time, he began to experiment with the idea of the subconscious, exploring this space through the drawing of a stick figure named glen. This soon blossomed into his first cosmology drawings (the precursor to the work Mullican does now). Mullican would reduce these into universal symbols and pictographs of recurring themes from his work. Often childlike and dreamy, these works found a larger audience in the 1980s.

How much are Matt Mullican paintings worth?

Matt Mullican pieces can be worth about $2,000 on the low end, and up to $45,000 on the high end. The most ever paid for a Matt Mullican painting at auction is $45,600, for the piece Untitled (1986) on September 23rd, 2005. This represents a substantial sale for Mullican, as the previous high estimate for this piece was only $8,000. He is a one-of-a-kind artist and just entering the prime years of his career, so his work is definitely one to keep an eye on -- now, and in the future.

Where to buy Matt Mullican paintings for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Matt Mullican’s paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.


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Matt Mullican Original Art values sold at auction

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