Mulleian poses subtle questions about the past and the future. Indeed it is this exploration of various aspects of time, its passage and its effects upon our inner experience of life, that give his work such a timeless, universal and yet unique quality expressed through a broad range of subject matter and variations in style.
When one takes in a visual analysis from any portion of Mulleian’s Stone Statue’s Epiphany, and compares it with any portion of a description of the artist’s mystical experience in Vietnam as described in his biography, the deeper, hidden meaning in this painting becomes evident. Upon close examination there are glaring similarities described in three separate segments of Mulleian’s biography which seem to provide parallel reflections in the painting that enrich themselves on an ever deeper subliminal level. In comparing these segments in the biography this becomes quit obvious. To illustrate this point, the first line reads:
“I cling ever so closer to myself, trapped in a corner inside this bunker, as I shake with fear, waiting for it to come”.
Stone Statue’s Epiphany suggests the living spirit depicted in a stone torso. One could conclude from this image a profound sense of elemental captivity within circumstantial limitations of its own mortality in imperiling dilemma. Immobile, powerless and in despair, the spirit is suddenly confronted by a climactic conversion, transformative dynamics nothing short of a divine intervention, the effects of which are seen here frozen on the face of the statue.
This paradigm in the making is also reflected in this second segment of the biography that seems to mirror the painting’s overall theme:
This description is amplified in the abyss of its surrounding background of the painting. Here the artist emphasizes unknown moving forces that surround the stone statue which cradle the subject matter, giving it a compositional support by focusing energies that seem to substantiate an essence that is bigger than our capacity to know. At the same time there is produced a sense of enveloping assurances from the acknowledgement of higher sources, which bring the viewer’s attention to the statue’s face.
“Knowing that this is the premonition foretold to me and in my frantic despair, I reach to rip open my shirt as I pray, trying to climb out of my body as I sank into the depths of my fears. Grabbing my helmet off of my head and my soul tries to hide into the abyss”.
In the third and last analysis describing this segment of the biography, once again this comparable signature is reflected in the painting.
“Suddenly I am enveloped in a strange sence of comfort. I gaze up at a heavenly source, surrounded by night that reaches for me through a three foot hole in the ceiling of an old bunker that was blasted open by a 75 millimeter recoilless mortar two and a half feet above my head. Warm, thick dust slowly unveils a flickering light that reveals a lonely bright star, big as Jupiter, as the words that I spoke ceased, leaving me in a state of bliss.”
This last paragraph is clearly mirrored here in the most essential part of the painting, were the artist reveals, not in stone but in living flesh, that which gives it’s epiphany a face. Mysteriously gazing upward in absolute focus, as if to witness the unfathamable in a portrayal of unseen forces, envisioning oracle, the stone statue’s eyes.
At the time this painting was created, the artist dident realized its direct connection to his prophetic experience in Vietnam until 40 years later. This staggering revelation concludes that the power of our subconscious obtains more influence over our conscious minds then we could have imagined; in this case, in visual form. Its all here in Stone Statue Epiphany, a visual metaphor. To quote the words of Carl Jung:
"The stirring up of conflict is a Luciferian virtue in the true sense of the word, conflict and engenders fire, the fire of affects and emotions, and like every other fire it has two aspects, that of combustion and that of creating light. On the one hand, emotion is the alchemical fire whose warmth brings everything into existence and whose heat burns all superfluities to ashes, But on the other hand, emotion is the moment when steel meets flint and a spark is struck forth, for emotion is the chief source of consciousness. There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion."


Out of the womb of uncertainty
Wherein resides a penetrating force
By immortal Opens,
Like Ghiberty doors, to a star within, Bringing about the liberation of hope Through the gates of paradise,

Revealed in a stone statues

By Paul Deegan
Artist Mark Mulleian
Stone Statues Epiphany
Oil, 34'x 41", 1971