‘Dave Muller creates paintings and installations that are rooted in his deep fascination with music, how it infiltrates and shapes our identities, and the communal dialogue it generates across cultures. Tapping into shared poetic moments and a collective dialogue, Muller depicts the myriad iconographies of his musical obsessions—album covers and spines, vinyl records, tapes, CDs, bootlegs, B-sides, disco balls, record labels, set lists, rare and popular instruments—sounds of all stripes, musicians, and singers, both beloved and unknown.
‘Muller appropriates album art in a painterly style that is both whimsical and factual. The paintings are autobiographical and expressive; adoring as well as historically referential. He is careful to include details such as hype stickers, anachronistic price tags, and extinct record shop labels, always attending to age, use, wear, and tear. These paintings tell idiosyncratic stories of politics, subculture, and atmosphere that have morphed through eras and cultures.
‘Muller’s engagement with a widespread sonic landscape offers fertile ground for portraiture, fandom, revised history, and cultural critique. As both deejay and painter, the artist plays a curatorial role of selection and remix based on playful intersections of imagery, sensibility, and language. Muller often incorporates his paintings into large-scale environments with wall paintings, multi-part installations, and sound.’ — B&P
Dave Muller @ Blum & Poe
DM @ Anthony Meier Fine Arts
DM@ The approach
Dave Muller @ instagram
MEET DAVE MULLER: THE ARTIST WHO COULD PROBABLY GUESS YOUR FAVORITE SONG
Book: ‘I Like Your Music I Love Your Music’
Dave Muller: Connections
The Thing, Issue 34: Dave Muller
ART CITIES:N.York-Dave Muller
Raise the Bar: Dave Muller at The Mandrake
Edition: Dave Muller: Quiet Noise
VIDEO: ARTIST TALK DAVE MULLER
Dave Muller’s Three Day Weekend Playlist
Critic’s Pick: Dave Muller
Dave Muller Interview At Beautiful/Decay
Dave Muller: Everything Sounds Good Right Now
Artist Talk: Dave Muller
Dave Muller | The Artist’s Museum
Dave Muller, Now Where Were We?
Dave Muller interview
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from originally and when did art first enter your life?
I was born in San Francisco. Grew up in Novato (Marin County). Was a science/math student/athlete in high school. As a chemistry major/college radio DJ, I took my first drawing class: an elective in what I thought was going to be my final term toward my chemistry degree. That class was so interesting that I stuck around and got a double major in Art and Chemistry.
From where do you draw inspiration?
Life. Reading. Nature. Films. Life. Other People. Music. The World. Life.
Music is a central theme in your work – if you could spend one day with any musician, who would it be?
I like to play music, so I’d like to spend it with the people I play music with in the Summer. The Bread and Puppet Theater Brass Band. Or Mike Kelley, whom I miss greatly. Music was a lot of fun with Mike.
What three words do you think best describe the work that you do?
Is your work influenced by any art historical figures or movements?
Sure. I’m heavily influenced by my contemporaries, and African tribal sculpture, Diane Arbus, Michael Asher, John Baldessari, StephanBalkenhol, Robert Bechtle, Gene Beery, Lee Bontecou, D. Boon, Marcel Broodthaers, ChrisBurden, André Cadere, John Cage, Alexander Calder, René Daniëls, Ray and Charles Eames, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Goldstein, John Graham, David Hammons, Eva Hesse, Mary Heilmann, Barkley L.Hendricks, Roni Horn, Inuit sculpture and drawing, Neil Jenney, Larry Johnson, RayJohnson, Jasper Johns, Alex Katz, Mike Kelley, Ellsworth Kelly, Jack Kirby, Lucy Lippard, Robert Maillart, Kerry James Marshall, Agnes Martin, Gordon Matta-Clark, Marilyn Minter, ReeMorton, Bruno Munari, Bruce Nauman, George Nelson, Hélio Oiticica, Catherine Opie, Raymond Pettibon, Francis Picabia, Lari Pittman, Sigmar Polke, Jackson Pollock, RichardPowers, Richard Prince, Martín Ramírez, Charles Ray, Ad Reinhardt, Gerhard Richter, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha, Peter Saville, Charles Schulz, Allan Sekula, Dr. Seuss, Ben Shahn, Jim Shaw, TheSituationists, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Paul Thek, Lilyvander Stokker, Daanvan Golden, Caetano Veloso, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, H.C. Westermann.
You are currently working with Blum & Poe curating their virtual exhibition space. How did you come into that role and what is your relationship like with the gallery?
I’ve been showing as an artist with Blum & Poe since 1996. In 1994 I started Three Day Weekend, an artist run project space. Over the years I’ve organized at least six TDW shows at B&P. By now they feel like family.
Has your work always taken on the style it currently embodies?
Pretty much. I mostly thought I was a sculptor when I was in school (UC Davis, CalArts). After grad school I taught myself how to draw things the way I wanted them to look.
What one thing would you never go into the studio without? What does your process look like?
I’m useless in the studio without a solid idea. That doesn’t mean that an idea must be fully formed. I just have to trick myself into action. A final object might barely resemble an initial idea. I spend a lot of time puttering outside the studio, searching for a grain of an idea.
What do you have coming up in the future?
Long Term: Some sort of survey show at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art (at UC Davis) in a few years. Short Term: Lots of painting.
Personal Top Ten, 2019
Altogether Now (33 & 1/3), 2008
Apple Core, Nothing More. Who’s Your Friend (Ringo), 2012
See You Next Lifetime, 2018
A Beatle in Mercury’s Clothing , 2012
Empty Drum Kits, 2013
Purple Rain, Purple Rain, 2020
Noir and Sunshine, 2018
Red, Yellow, Blue (Sixth, Ninth and First Most Sampled Songs According to whosampled.com), 2018
She Signed Her Letter All Yours… …Ya-Ya, 2018
A Beginning, 1994
Glories of a Youth Misspent (in record stores) #1, 2, 2018
Prayers: Extended (medium), 2008
January 2007, According to NY Times (Help), 2006 , 2007
The King Springs Eternal , 2009
Various artists , 2004
Various Artists: the nonesuch guide to electronic music (Beaver & Krause), 2005
W.W.S.R.D. in 2152 , 2004
White Noise (diptych), 2004
John Entwistle Meet Sol Lewitt, 2004
Little (Ed), 2012
So (detail), 2004
OtherMusic.com Star, 2004
one and two (from three), 2008
cassettestack (A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You), 2007
p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I’m slightly more than half-curious to see ‘Nightmare Alley’. I didn’t like his ‘water’ movie at all, which is where my trepidation comes in. ** cal, Hi, Cal! Sure, a Zoom editing talk sounds good. Let me know when it suits. You can email me about figuring it out if you want: firstname.lastname@example.org. I really liked that Corrao book. Hm, it’s been a while since I read it, so I don’t have any special or detailed thoughts at my fingertips, but I’ll think back and get some thoughts together. Excellent day to you! ** David, Hi. Yeah, quite the story. Don’t shopping centers have beds? Wait, you mean useable ones. Bath bomb. That’s new to me. Sounds horrifically sexy. Chase the sunset. ** Dominik, Hi!!! ‘What the fuck are human beings’ must be the central question of our time or something, no? It feels big. Ethiopian food rocks. The bread … oh my god. Fuck work. I wish it was that easy. I hope you somehow came out the other end of yesterday’s unwanted work sparkling anew. Not impossible, I guess. Please thank your yesterday’s love for his kind generosity. Well, there is the possibility that things have improved on the film front. I can’t say too much, but some funding might be about to come through, and, if it does, we’ll be on our way to having what we need. It’s an if, though, and fingers crossed, etc., but things are a little better in any case. Thanks for asking. Love transforming every 20 Euro bill into a guitar and very 10 Euro bill into an amplifier and every 5 Euro bill into a cord and every 50 Euro bill into an effects pedal, G. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. Yes, McCurdy is a classic American tale of the power of ingenuity except without his ingenuity. I’ve never seen the original ‘Nightmare’ film. Maybe I should watch that first. ** Bill, Hi, B. You know, when I was young, I used to go to the Pike in Long Beach once in a while, and there’s no way I would have gone without going through the dark ride, so I must have seen McCurdy’s corpse a number of times, but probably under a strobe light or something. I was very, very disappointed in ‘Memoria’. I could barely sit through it. Did you like it? There are certainly those with good taste who do. ** Jamie, Hi, Jamie! Great to see you, old pal! Yeah, my blog is sadly phone unfriendly, and yet I guess I don’t care enough about that to change its wicked ways. Thank you re: my b’day. I’m good, thanks. Glad you’re O-free. Me too, so far. I mean as far as I know. How are you? What’s going on, buddy? xo. ** T, Yeah, if there’s heaven, and, well, there isn’t, I would think McCurdy must be kind of a revered cult figure up there. The fucking robot was broken yesterday, so we didn’t get our robot pizza. Grr. I know nothing about the pizza in a bottle thing, and that is absolutely disgusting, wow. And that’s coming from someone who sometimes likes disgusting things like Kandy Korn. I’ll have to guess, but I think the robot pizza would win that contest. Heck, I can’t think anything that wouldn’t win that contest. Yuck. But a fascinated yuck. Hope your Wednesday makes every avalanche reverse course. xo. ** Misanthrope, No, you’re the only person I can think of who’s rude and cruel enough to have reminded me. Ha ha. Actually, others did too. Evil is afoot. Well, if I do outlive you, I’ll make sure your corpse is a stage prop on every future Judas Priest tour because god knows they’ll outlive both of us. ** Niko, Hi, Niko! I don’t know where you are in the editing, but, yeah, March is soon. You think you can buckle down and get obsessive enough over the next couple of months? Your novel sounds absolutely amazing, need I even say. Massively up the alley of my interests. Wow. Having just concentrated on working with emoting in ‘I Wished’, I found that the intensity counteracts or erases the sentimentality. Or maybe I mean locks it down to the point where it functions, has an effect, but doesn’t swamp the tone, which is the worry. It sounds to me like you’re going to be okay on that front. Most of the battle, at least for me, is recognising the danger and, thereby, never allowing it to control you. Or something like that. Creating something that people can’t immediately categorize/canonize is always paramount in my goals. It’s a matter of balancing that with readability. As long as I think what I’m working on is readable and employs the pleasure that readability requires, I feel pretty free to go as far afield as I want. But, yeah, you do end up with work that a lot of people find too difficult. Anyway, the way you think about your editing rings very true to me. That sounds quite exciting. Nice cover! Awesome! It’s terrific to talk with you about your work. Thank you! ** Paul Curran, Hi! Yeah, right? Wow, I don’t know that story about Kichizō Ishida’s genitals. Crazy. I’m going to look into that, naturally. Excellent that the writing goes well! What is the Apocalypse Party project? That’s very exciting. I like that press a lot. Very, very cool! ** Okay. I decided to give you a galerie show by the awesome IMO LA artist Dave Muller. See what you think. And then I’ll see you tomorrow.