Acrylic on wall
Approximately 21 feet by 131 feet
Like many school kids all over the country, Dave Muller’s first visit to a football field had nothing to do with sports. His science teacher took his class to the local stadium to demonstrate just how big the solar system is. Using a ping-pong ball for the sun, which was placed on one goal line, they needed the entire field, as well as the stands beyond the opposite end zone, to make their accurately-scaled model.
Solar Arrangement (2009) plays off of Muller’s memory of that experience. In his expansive mural, the sun is represented by a gorgeous yellow rose. The first three planets, Mercury, Venus, and Earth are represented by a ball of dry leaves, a ball of crunchy popcorn, and a ball of lush clover. Dashed lines trace small sections of their orbits. Several stars, which resemble snowflakes, twinkle in the background. Muller invites us to ponder our place in the cosmos—to picture the huge crowd gathered here as a tiny speck beneath the heavens. The experience is humbling and eye-opening, both personal and universal.
The hand-drawn, hand-painted richness of Muller’s image makes it intimate and endearing, far warmer and more enchanting than standard diagrams. And like much of Muller’s art, Solar Arrangement has a musical component. Muller is a Los Angeles artist who is also a trumpet player, DJ, and record collector. His sun evokes “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” a legendary song that has been covered again and again and never the same way twice.Return to Collection