The Advocate, a national gay publication and G. Mark Mulleian.
An artist comes out
on a international scale
As an already established artist in the U.S. Mulleian was becoming controversial. Not only in his art surrounding his intense subject matter, but now on his views of homosexuality that drew the attention of the FBI to the front door of the artist's studio.
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It is not often that a single individual can stir up such controversy, not only in challenging the art establishment but also in regards to his views on homosexuality. As an already established artist in the U.S. since 1969, his political views and his strong antinuclear, environmental, and gay rights positions helped open the doors in both the gay and straight cultures. By bridging the gap between the homosexual and heterosexual communites, Mulleian has helped to promote tolerance and understanding through his work and through the media for over forty years on a national and international scale.
In January 1973, The Advocate (a national political gay newspaper, the biggest of its kind in the U.S.) published one of the biggest feature stories on an individual of its day. Written by freelance writer Brian Jennings, the article drew national attention and generated fan mail throughout the U.S. The cover story was two full pages dedicated to Mulleian's art and lifestyle, and his controversial perspective relating to human rights and individual sexual expression. It was in the area of homosexual expression that Mulleian's outspoken views drew the attention of the FBI to the front door of the artist's studio in an investigation into his controversial and challenging commentary on aspects of fundamental social values during the Nixon era and shortly after J. Edgar Hoover’s death in 1972. This cover story and the subsequent FBI investigation brought a national outpouring of response by mail to the painter from the Gay community throughout the United States that lasted for over four months. The predominant response from the public was appreciation for Mulleian's courageous and liberating stance by his coming out and speaking publicly in a national and international forum, bringing to the forefront of public attention his homosexuality in a time and era were it was dangerous, indeed illegal, to do so.
Despite the artist's outspoken observations of the national scene, his media attention continued to climb for over four decades. This attention came not only from mainstream media but also from the media of a newly emerging counterculture that was finding its voice in what would later come to be thought of as a bridge between the radical sensibilities of North Beach, (radical as perceived by the status quo), and the dawning of a new age of personal expression and sexual freedom of the 70s. He was thought by many to be ahead of his time. Mulleian's art and his avant-garde views created a unique relationship with the media of two cultures, a relationship that was not only unprecedented but, indirectly, a testimony to the universality of his work.
Two weeks after the Advocate story broke, a similar two-page cover feature would appear in the European equivalent of the Advocate, the German magazine Him, a monthly periodical reaching a wide audience in Belgium, Denmark, England, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the United States. Mulleian was twenty-three years old.