I never considered that every day, seemingly ordinary objects could take on extraordinary significance. Then, I visited Warren Muller’s On and Off the Wall exhibition at Magic Gardens’ indoor galleries. Muller, a renowned Philadelphia artist, has been dubbed “the master of miscellany.” His sculptures are a compellation of found objects, many of which, to the untrained eye, wouldn’t seem especially artistic. Yet, Muller’s talent for transforming the mundane into the magnificent while maintaining the integrity of each incorporated piece reveals the latent potential of all that’s around us.
As I moved from one sculpture to the next, pausing to study pieces that incorporated bicycle parts, taillights, bedsprings, depression glass, chandelier crystals, musical instruments, and even a bowling pin, I realized that life is full of possibilities. By carefully selecting and assembling disparate objects, the artist teaches us that, if we expand our perception, there is so much more to ourselves and our surroundings than we can imagine.
Muller describes his creative process as a result of improvisation, intuition and expressionism. I’d argue that, if we were all to adopt these practices, our lives would begin to reflect the spirit and the beauty of his art, which is to say they’d be more diverse, integrated, expansive, and compelling.
The On and Off the Wall exhibition runs through April 26 and Magic Gardens is the perfect home for it. Muller’s sculptures (and a few included ink on paper works) are beautifully juxtaposed with the Magic Gardens legendary mosaics. Furthermore, Magic Gardens has the explicit mission of inspiring creativity, championing originality, and fostering community engagement. Muller’s work does all of that and more.
Visit the exhibition and you’ll be inspired to see more magic in the world around you.