early 1971 original United Press International (UPI) press photo of G. Mark
Mulleian was recently discovered for sale on ebay, offered by Historic Images,
a website specializing in historical photos of the past. The photo shows
the artist at work on his first mural size painting "Spring Crossing"
high atop a scaffold in his studio at the Frank Gallery on Sutter Street,
in the heart of San Franciscos Gallery row. As controversial as it
was epic, this 1972 work depicting the crucifixion of Christ was posed by
the artists model Ron Raz on a 17 feet high cross, at a time when
just down the street at Union Square, classic mime Robert Shields was performing,
and intermittently, Janice Joplin, William Kunstler and countless others
from the counter-culture movement would make their appearance at the gallery
to watch the artists progress. At ground street level, the Frank Gallerys
Spring Crossing became one of San Francisco's main attractions.
People from all over California and throughout the country would come to
watch Mulleian at work on this epic piece, bearing small gifts such as flowers,
letters, and wine for the artist, followed by extensive media attention
throughout the U.S. and internationally for months to come. The painting
took six months to complete. Mulleian was 24 years
in 1907, UPIs far-reaching global news operation, at its peak in the 1970s,
was the equivalent to todays CNN. Despite its mass media distribution
to thousands of news papers, radio and television stations throughout the world
of forty years ago, no one knows how many of the articles still survive today.
This particular press release photo is considered a rare find.