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BEHIND THE SCENES

Photo credit: Nalo Bruce

Welcome to this selection of my charcoal drawings, organizing into thematic categories. The emotional and psychological interconnectedness of thoughts and ideas that preoccupy me as an artist are best presented like this rather than as batches of production along a linear timeline. Each drawing can be likened to a single frame from a film noir that never was, where fatalism is converted into optimism, and from which existential questioning leads towards a hopeful future.

 

I have been producing charcoal drawings since the early 1980s. I work in charcoal because carbon, its main ingredient, lends itself to a generous range of light and dark effects. My drawings are protected by custom-made angle iron frames that have become an enduring characteristic of my artistic production. I feel that the solidity and weight of those steel frames complements the architectural subject matter of my drawings. The variations in the corner welds and the dark metal surfaces also echo the materiality of charcoal on paper.

 

This emphasis on surface qualities and interesting materials is rooted in the visual and tactile experience of my early years as a practicing artist. From 1984 to 1995, I lived and worked in old run-down commercial buildings on St. Maurice and Wellington streets, in a neighbourhood known as the “quartier des Récollets,” between Griffintown and Old Montreal. Today, that neighbourhood is completely transformed by urban development, and is known as the Cité du Multimédia. Back then, it was sparsely populated by low-income people who lived affordably next to (and in the case of artists, inside of) dusty warehouses and other aging commercial buildings. These structures spoke of their history through their timeworn appearance and varied construction materials. The unique, beautiful and often ragged people of the neighbourhood made their mark on me. The visual artists, poets and musicians who lived in these relics from the past questioned their destinies, and created their visions for the future. This spirit of questioning in a bleakly beautiful world has permeated my psyche and my imagery. Each new drawing that I create reveals additional facets of a fictitious parallel world, based on history but exploring possible future incarnations.

I have been honoured with grants and awards from both public and private institutions, including the Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. My artworks are held in numerous collections, including the Canada Council Art Bank, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the ministère des Affaires extérieures (Ottawa), as well as many private and corporate collections.  I have had fifteen solo shows, and I am author of the art books Voyage (2012, ISBN : 978-1-55016-9003, with a foreword by Anna Carlevaris) and The Stillness of Time (2003, ISBN 978-1-55016-9003, introductory essay by John K. Grande). My contribution to Quebec culture has been recognized in Robert Bernier’s La Peinture au Québec depuis les années 1960, Les editions de l'Homme, 2002.

 

I taught in the Fine Arts Department of Dawson College for 30 years, and simultaneously in the Illustration Department for 24 years. I am proud to have served as a coordinator for S.P.A.C.E. (Science Participating with Arts and Culture in Education) from 2010-2016. S.P.A.C.E. is an experimental initiative at Dawson College that encourages interdisciplinary exploration and student-initiated projects. In 2009, I received a Director General’s teaching excellence award from Dawson College.

 

These days, I have a studio in the Plateau Mont-Royal where, among my props, contraptions and rigs, I engage in research, create my artwork and do my own custom framing.

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THOUGHTS AND PROCESS (ENGLISH)

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THOUGHTS AND PROCESS (FRENCH)

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF MY RESUME

GRATITUDE

I am thankful to all those who have modelled for my drawings. A partial list is provided here. They are a lively group of friends, family, artists, authors, dancers, actors and activists.
  • Michèle Bastien

  • Dominique Brais

  • Nalo Bruce

  • Mario Bruyère

  • Greg Dunlevy

  • Mark Eden-Towle

  • Bruce Emo

  • Tess Fragoulis

  • Katia Gagné

  • Tamas Horvath

  • Karsten Kroll

  • Chi Long

  • Joel Lord

  • Cameron McMaster

  • Lana Morton

  • Carl Mulvey

  • Lyne Robichaud

  • Ken Roy

  • Roger Sinha

  • Roland Smith

  • Lin Snelling

  • Hanibal Srouji

  • Irene Stamou

  • Marie Thone

  • Diane Woodward

SHARING PICTURES

All artworks © Frank Mulvey. Visitors to this site are free to share images or texts from this site, except for commercial purposes. If you remix, transform or build upon material from this site, you cannot share or distribute it. The license below applies to all content on this site, except for content credited to others.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Contact

For inquiries, please contact Frank Mulvey:

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