Sean Mueller grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2015 he received a B.A. in Studio Art from the College of Charleston. During his time at the College of Charleston he cultivated an interest in Public Art. In 2014, he received a grant from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities for a collaborative sculpture project intended to create large scale works for public display. These sculptures have since been displayed in three locations across the nation, including, North Charleston, SC, Colorado Springs, CO, and New Port Beach, CA. Following the completion of these installations, Sean has since received commissions for public art in Atlanta, GA, Charleston, SC, and Norman, OK.
Sean Mueller is continuing his research and education in sculpture at the University of Oklahoma as an MFA candidate. His current work examines object, material, and location. He continues to work on a large scale intended for public display, as well as new bodies of smaller scale object based work, and explorations in situation and environment.
My work aims to explore material and object value by collecting, decontextualizing and reconstructing refuse, as sculpture. Through examining the tangible space occupied by an object, and its assigned virtual value, I seek to bridge the gap between what is real and imaginary.
Through seeking out and collecting these objects I began a new process of assimilation to my own environment. This method of research involves explorations of both the constructed and natural world through a process I call Visual Path Making. Rooted in the Sitionationalist’s theory of Dérive, this process involves conducting wanderings, without destination, recording the path from memory, and interpreting the experience into visual language.
Reflecting on the experience of wandering led me to develop a visual language that expresses the action and reaction of each exploration. This visual language is conveyed through linear abstractions of each path. Each piece develops as an allegory, not only for the path taken, but also for my creative process, which heavily relies on intuition, material, and experimentation. The goal of each wandering is to explore a new environment in an unconventional way, while examining how the experience contributes to my artistic process.
Sculptures that explore this motif range in material; steel, wood, cement and earth can all be employed to explore visual language as well as themes of labor, object value and environmental concerns. Developing a close relationship with the material is integral to the formation of the physical representation of an experience.
These works aim to convey the experience of wandering, however, as each person’s perception of experience varies, so do their experiences with the works. The pieces are intentionally left open ended and abstract, offering a platform for discussion.