His art, which he calls “leak in logic,” lies somewhere between sculpting and painting.
“Leak in logic” involves blobs of bright orange and pink, sometimes including somewhat recognizable structures such as nude human figures or scraps of trash he finds lying around, sitting in straight white frames.
“Anywhere you see straight lines, you know human beings are there,” Muller said inside his studio on Ainslee Street last Monday morning. “Have you ever gone anywhere where there's no trace of human beings, not even a trail? You'll find no straight lines.”
He said this is part of an overall battle between humans and their environment.
“To me, human beings are always trying to force their will on things, but I think it's flawed, and that's where the leak sort of starts to happen,” he said. “You can make this straight thing, but some power will always start to destroy that, and that's where the battle begins.”
Originally from San Marcos, Texas, Muller received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Texas State University, and moved to New York City in 1998. He's lived mostly in Brooklyn since.
Getting to the “leak in logic” idea took a long time, he said. Muller spent several years making sculptures of recognizable objects, such as a banana, which he suspended in clear vinyl casings to play with the idea of the space surrounding something.
One of the artists he's most influenced by is Constantin Barcusi, particularly his piece “Bird in Space.”
“It was just this bronze shape, sort of curved up,” he said, “but when you test that title to it, it made a lot of sense that this was more than just a piece of bronze shape sitting there.
“That really influenced me in terms of thinking about space,” he said.
He also works in the Estate of Tom Wesselmann, an influential pop-artist from the 1960s.
Muller recalled Wesselmann, who passed away in 2004, fondly as a workaholic who sacrificed indulging in life's finer experiences, such as traveling and acquiring expensive possessions, to get ahead with his artwork.
As for his own art, Muller displayed his work with the Germany-based Galerie Stefan Ropke, a gallery he still collaborates with, at the Pulse Art Fair in Manhattan, and also in Madrid, Spain.
He's currently focusing mainly on developing his “leak in logic,” however.
The “logic” in Muller's art is the aluminum frame the “leak” sits in. The leak is an Aqua-Resin and fiberglass powder mixed with water, molded over a plaster-mold he fills with foam.
“I want to keep it simple,” he said. “Simplicity is sometimes the best thing, but unfortunately all the simple designs out there that work in the world, they're so simple that there's no way for people to improve on them.”
Most recently, Muller's been working with structures other than nude figures. His art's been incorporating pieces of trash, such as an old sneaker, broken sunglasses and a VHS tape.
This kind of “leak in logic,” he said, differs from his simpler pieces because “you have objects that you're attaching all kinds of meanings to.”
But one of the key aspects of Muller's method is not having one at all, he said. Rather than go at his art with a plan or a message he's trying to send, such as environmental consciousness, Muller gets an idea in his head and runs with it in whatever direction his brain wants to take him.
“With anything I've ever made, there's not a lot of intent,” he said, but rather that “inside me, I understand that this will work.”
For more information about Muller and his artwork, visit Gregallenmuller.com.