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Artist Talk with
Catherine Mulligan

31 May, 2022

By Tal Levy


'Double Portrait'

Oil on board

91 x 91 cm 

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Catherine, I'm 35, I'm a painter, I live in Brooklyn, originally from north Jersey.






Where did your passion for art begin?

I've always been making things and came from a very creative family. I know it's consumed my entire adult life. 

How would you describe your work to someone?

 Abject female monstrous forms, images appropriated and distorted from stock photos/Myspace/Model Mayhem/porn/advertising etc.... done in a style that is a bit Northern Renaissance inspired, lots of glazing, but also pretty decrepit. Increasingly grotesque. 

2022_01_11_DownsAndRoss_019v03 copy.jpg

'Angel 2', 2022

Oil on board

91.44x140 cm

What are you currently working on?

You'll see ;)


When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?

I've only ever improvised with something like collage, never painting. However there's an open-ended element to my work. Typically with the figures I find a basic skeleton of a form I want to use, grid it out onto a composition, but paint it in parts. So often I'm making decisions as the painting progresses, while still working in a fairly tight style.

2022_01_11_DownsAndRoss_017v02 copy.jpg

'Devil 1', 2022

Oil on board

91.44x122 cm

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

I went to a very traditional school for undergrad (PAFA) and usually return to Old Masters painting for inspiration--I love late Titian, Grunewald, de Ribera, Bosch. What I actually consume is much broader, Paul McCarthy is one of my favorites. I think I'm usually drawn to work that pushes limits and conventions somehow, and especially work that has some terrifying or uncanny quality. It gives me the courage to push myself even further, make paintings that might otherwise be personally challenging (too ugly, stupid, vulgar, tasteless, etc).





What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

I have some shows in the second half of the year, in the meantime I'm just working a lot, trying to stay sane.


'Indianapolis', 2021

Oil on board with photo transfers

92.7 x 123.2 cm

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