Investigating repulsion and seduction, my paintings of big-box stores are intended to elicit fear and awe at the vast American consumer landscape. I approach the work as a landscape painter, inspired by the theories of Edmund Burke's treatise on the sublime and its relationship with terror. This, paired with the concept of the divine power of the sublime, heavily influenced my depiction of these consumer spaces as Cathedrals of Desire. These environments represent not only the actual structural space and overwhelming chaos of goods, but also the psychology and vernacular of American consumerism. The obtrusive massive structures built with no attempt at aesthetic beauty reveal the most naked of American consumer desires. The language of American desire can be reduced to vignettes of patio furniture and gingham-covered tables set like small picnics. I respond to this landscape by obviating the contrast between the mundane and the dramatic; the absurd experience of both comfort and the profane.
Michelle Muldrow is a nationally recognized painter whose work is a conceptual exploration of the American landscape. Born in 1968, Muldrow was raised on Air Force bases throughout America. This nomadic experience laid the foundation for a fascination with the American landscape and the vernacular of what defines home. While in high school, Muldrow attended the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and attended the University of Minnesota, where she earned a BFA in painting. After a 10-year sojourn as a musician, Muldrow returned to painting in 2000 and began exhibiting nationally. She enjoyed a residency at the Cooper Union Summer Residency Program in New York City in 2004. In 2006, she relocated from San Francisco to the Rust Belt: Cleveland, Ohio, is where she now calls home. In 2009, Michelle Muldrow was named a fellow for the Creative Workforce Grant in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Her work is featured in the 2010 Midwest edition of New American Paintings. Muldrow's paintings have resided in the art collections of the Cleveland Clinic, California Cryobank and IndyMac Bank. Michelle Muldrow is represented at Jen Bekman Gallery, New York City, NY; Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and Bonfoey Gallery, Cleveland, OH.