Toby Mulligan’s award-winning work is motivated by his passion for exploration, discovery and communication. Unmistakable in style, his distinctive contemporary originals have won him both critical and public acclaim, leading to him becoming a major force in British contemporary art.
When beginning work on a piece, Mulligan does not prepare with sketches or planning, but simply starts to paint or draw. This spontaneous style results in and each work being intuitive, spirited and extraordinary.
His mantra both as an artist and as a person is to simply to be present, paying total attention to the world within and without. The challenge as he sees it is to be free, clear and "as unfettered and unthinking as the day we were born. Always open, always amazed".
"When I paint there is the object and its shadow, and the shadow adds another dimension by throwing the object into relief. The form of the shadow is organic, clear and simple, without volume or tonality, but its pattern may be layered and complex, fractured or whole."
Photo credit: Yann Kerveno
Mulligan works in a variety of media including charcoal on paper and inks. He is deeply engaged with the physical creative process so often grinds his own pigments and has been known to experiment with varnishes, wax, medieval paint recipes and rolls of wallpaper.
His dynamic and expressive paintings can be found in collections ranging from that of Mick Jagger’s French chateau to the National Portrait Gallery of Edinburgh, and his portfolio of portraits includes a personal commission from Roger Federer and a BP Portrait Award selection.