1970's Press Photo
Oil, 10 Ft.x13 Ft. 1972
This highly controversial work nearly overpowered the public’s sensibilities by depicting a nude man breaking through the Rose Window of a cathedral clutching a giant key, a symbol of knowledge. The work was characterized as bold and daring, a penetrating statement emphasizing the liberation of mankind from his own religious and institutionalized barriers. It also caused controversy within the religious establishment and ripples of nervous unease amongst the more conservative members of the community, stimulating much discussion on Gallery Row, while the general public rejoiced in support by bringing flowers, letters and even gifts to the artist.
But out of this there was one special moment that stood out from the rest which to this day the artist still remembers. One afternoon, while high up on the scaffold working on this large scale painting Mulleian looked down to see a stranger who seemed to silently beckon him to descend. Upon climbing down from the scaffold and drawing nearer to meet this person, after a brief introduction there was suddenly a warm, deep eye contact and a gesture of Providential blessing. Extended gently in a weathered, steady hand was a bottle of rare vintage champagne, a gift of appreciation and affirmation from the hand of a 90 year old woman. There were no further words spoken. Upon the paintings completion Mulleian was of the age twenty five.