FBi Turns 10 Artist Profile :: Mulga
September 2nd 2013
“There is some magical power that gets unlocked when a beard chooses to adorn the face of a mere man. It is like the mystery of synergy that cannot be explained. Perhaps the best medium to describe it is through the wonder of dance, but we don’t have time for that here.”
If you come to our birthday party next weekend, you’re in for a treat. A big, bright and bearded treat in the form of pipe-smoking, bling-clad gorillas. These are some of the characters dreamed up by Sydney artist Joel Moore, AKA Mulga, whose philosophies on the mystical power of facial hair make a mockery of every religion that ever was.
Jess Hamilton spoke to Mulga about the art, the zoo and the secret to growing epic beards. Here’s what he had to say…
Jess :: What did your path to becoming an artist look like?
Joel :: At school I liked to do art and towards the end of school I thought about my career options. I decided that studying finance and economics was a “smarter” and more lucrative choice, so I did that for about 10 years and then I got to a point where I was stagnating in my career. I realised that I didn’t have a “passion” for doing an office job my whole life. I decided to give the art a wholehearted attempt as I had been drawing the whole time and really loving it. I set up a blog and started putting the art up there and refining my style to what it is today.
You have a thing for animals, beards and animals with beards. What’s with that?
Beards are a magical thing and throughout the history of Earth they have achieved extraordinary exploits that a non beard could never have achieved. There is some magical power that gets unlocked when a beard chooses to adorn the face of a mere man. It is like the mystery of synergy that cannot be explained. Perhaps the best medium to describe it is through the wonder of dance but we don’t have time for that here. Animals are great too and I really like the ones that are hairy and have beards on their whole head or body. The gorilla and lion are a couple of my favourite creatures as they have wondrous beards and are both supremely powerful and majestic creatures. My wonder for gorillas was unlocked when I saw the big fella at Taronga Zoo. He is a truly excellent specimen.
If you had to pick one of your characters that was most like you, who would it be and why?
I would definitely say Jolly Joel as it is a picture of me. I drew him when I was camping at Ulludulla in the Christmas holiday’s with my young family. He is smiling and wearing sunglasses which I have been known to do on occasion.
Granted, I’ve never really tried, but I’m pretty sure I can’t grow a beard. What do you suggest?
First you must do 10 push ups a day and rub your bare feet on green, green grass immediately after doing the 10 push ups. You should eat weet-bix everyday for breakfast because it is the breakfast of champions. Another good way to grow a beard is to never shave.
So you’re a poetic genius. Feel like writing FBi a few lines?
There once was a wonderful radio station
With a spectacular and vivid imagination
When it turned ten it had a big bash
And grew a mighty beard and a seedy stash
What can we expect from Mulga at our 10th birthday bash?
I intend to paint a truly magical scene of a bearded man or a gorilla, I haven’t decided yet. I might recite a poem as well and do a little dance. Woo!
Mulga is one of 4 artists chosen by FBi and aMBUSH Gallery to be part of FBi Turns 10!
Get familiar with them all.
WHO :: Mulga – live painting session
WHERE :: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh
WHEN :: Sunday 8th September
HOW MUCH :: Final release tickets: $69 / $59 for FBi Supporters, here.
Mulga | Jessica Hamilton