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Martin Mugar: The Pastorale

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Addison Parks considers the work of painter Martin Mugar.

Martin Mugar's work is only 'not what it seems' because of our expectations. We expect that pastel candy-like surfaces that appear like a large confection are sweet and decorative. We might eschew the sugar rush, the diabetic coma, the sick stomach. Or we might dismiss the pleasantries, the overall decorativeness, the unbridled optimism, the quiet pastorale… Mugar is interested in light, in mortality, in the universe. If you see this, you see his work. It is anything but sweet… Mugar finds a way of dialoguing with these questions by not getting caught up in paint in the traditional sense. He is a painter, and isn't it nice just to paint. But this isn't about paint anymore; it is about something more, so he has come up with a material vehicle for his expression that removes that distraction from the experience, that frees the work from that misdirection… So instead of sensuous oil paint at the end of a brush, he applies his wax and pigment concoction with a tool that… a pastry chef might use."

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