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Peter Rippon/ Royal Academy Travel Award 2015: Martin Dull

NYSS Graduate Martin Dull shares his experience as recipient of the PETER RIPPON/ROYAL ACADEMY Travel Award.

“The Grid” (diptych), 2015, acrylic and enamel spray paint on canvas,       40″x 60″
Martin in his North Jersey studio

In May 2015 I received the Peter Rippon/Royal Academy Travel Award from the New York Studio School. I knew this honor would be a milestone in my artistic practice. I was unaware, however, that this pilgrimage would prove to be absolutely transformative.

“Lapith and Centaur” inspired by the Elgin Marbles in London

During my graduate studies I was exposed to the world of plasticity. I spent countless hours studying the masters, forming guided tastes and opinions, trying to develop my own voice inside the language of painting, drawing, and sculpture.

When I went to Europe, I confronted the masterpieces I studied. It opened my eyes. I experienced, on a visceral level, everything that I spent so long drilling into my head. All of a sudden the shapes I was taught to analyze spoke to my heart and soul. I was privy to one of humanity’s greatest gifts and secrets. It was the culmination of years of thorough training.

“The Judgment” sketch made mid-travels while in Berlin.

The greatest masters had an overwhelming sense of style, but something else was evident. They were all linked by an abstract aesthetic sensibility—plasticity. It linked all the masterpieces to one source, one language. I believe we are all capable of sensing this plastic universe. But, like anything we are capable of, it requires training the eye and exercising the mind.

While travelling I began keeping an impromptu log of my journey through Instagram (@mgdull) and Facebook (martin.dull). I made it a point to post photographs of artworks that spoke directly to my sensibility. I realized that my experience was too powerful to keep to myself. In fact, I am still posting these images today.

Art truly has the power to enlighten minds. This enlightenment has the capability of crossing all borders and cultures. The plastic arts have an extreme potential that wants to be discovered. Thank you New York Studio School, The Royal Academy, Peter Rippon, and Dean Graham Nickson for affording me this opportunity.

“Stairway to Heaven,” 2016, acrylic on canvas, 12″x 9″
A self-portrait inspired by my travels.

Snapshots From NYSS

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