Kratos, god of strength by artist G. Mark Mulleian.
The Playground
This 1976 mural-sized painting, entitled "The Playground" by Mulleian, depicting the conflict between Cratos, (god of strength, sent by Zeus, supreme god of justice and reason), and the dynasty of the Titans of today, a visual metaphor for the people's struggle against consuming domination and exploitation by the ruling elite. The veiled painting towered like a monolith under a January sky of San Francisco's North Beach Barbary Coast as hundreds of spectators jammed packed the Mabuhay Gardens on Broadway in celebration of the completion and unveiling of this epic work. This event drew people from all over the world, including international celebrities and notables such as rock star Elton John. After the audience waited for three hours in anticipation of the unveiling, ten minutes of total silence fell over the crowd as the latest work by Mulleian was revealed. The news of this gala premier would span the distance between New York and the Phillipines and is still remembered by many to this day. Mulleian was twenty six years old.
The Playground
Oil, 60" x96" 1976
The driving energy of opposing forces, seen here as reshaping and moving across darkening skys, sets a powerful example of Mulleian's combustive narrative composition in juxtaposing symbolic and abstract elements, creating a dynamic, thought provoking subject that stimulates viewer's involvement.
Kratos struggles with painted lines leaping off the asphalt of a schoolyard playground, (symbolic of confinement and rigidity by institutions at the expense of human potential). As Kratos resists mind control, (symbolized by a yellow line rapped around his head), a hypnotic white line rises and seizes the moment by sedating Kratos, with persuasive powers, into submission to questionable ways of thinking by indoctrination, leading to its swift final attack delivered by a leaping venomous red line, (symbolic of war and division). Suddenly there emerges a blinding light that rains down from above, summoning Kratos to a place of retreat by Zeus through the opening hatch of an ancient ship, (symbolic of mans unconscious struggle with his own common sense in the quest of self knowledge). But as many of his paintings reveal, there is a message which seems to convey a prophetic insight and anchors providential hope as though it is already predestined, that goodness will prevail.