Dave Muller (b. 1964, San Francisco, CA) 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.
Dave Muller lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including solo shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León, Spain; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MI. His work is represented in the public collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, among others.