G. Mark Mulleian’s Crucifixion – 1970

Mulleian was first discovered by author Leonard Roy Frank in 1968, a discovery which opened the doors to one of the most unique exhibits at the Frank Gallery On January I, 1970 Featuring the works of sculptor Benny Bufano and paintings by G. Mark Mulleian that brought national public attention and many notable admirers ranging from William Kunsler, attorney of the Chicago Seven trial, to the Three Christy Minstrels, a popular singing group of the 1960’s. and notables such as Elton John, Janice Joplin, Robert Shields, Shirley Temple Black, Leotine Price, and Herb Cean, and many more. Visitors to the Frank Gallery would bring people from all walks of life, ranging from the very young to the very old, from the poor to the very rich, from the common folk to the very famous, from the blue collar workers to the intellectuals. Mulleian’s works were breaking barriers through universal means, bringing people together, which eventually led to a large following of Mulleian’s paintings on a national and international scale. That would launch the modeling career of Ron Raz, on famed Sutter street gallery row.

Ron Raz first met Mulleian in 1969 at age nineteen. Ron was studying horticulture at San Francisco City College at the time. He had already written many articles on that subject which were later published as his contribution to the activist movement to save our planet’s ecological environment. During this year Ron Raz walked away highly impressed after viewing an exhibit of Mulleian’s paintings that were featured at the Continental Gallery on Stockton street at San Francisco’s Union Square and was determined to meet the artist one day. In that same year Ron’s determination paid off. He would meet the young artist at a private house gathering of other horticulturists in San Francisco, Stunned by Mulleian’s physical beauty, sensitivity and his enormous gifts as a painter, Ron would become a close companion to the 22 year old artist. Soon after, Ron would model for the first time for the artist, beginning Ron Raz’s career In 1971 and would be catapulted into the eyes of the media by modeling for Mulleian’s controversial epic work “Spring Crossing”, the crucifixion of Christ suggested by the sixty six year study by Professor Loren Ferri. The results of that study suggest that Jesus was six feet tall and of muscular build due to the physical work as a carpenter. It was also learned that Jesus when crucified was nailed to the cross with a nail through the right wrist, as was the customary Roman method, and a nail through his left palm; the left arm being shorter then his right arm, as to reach the predrilled hole, a practice employed in preventing splitting of the wood. Also, there is an early 1970s archeological find of a partial ancient skeleton that shows a nail through the side of the back heal of the crucified victim’s foot, a detail which Mulleian also incorporates in this massive piece. “Spring Crossing” is the title chosen by the artist derived from the traditional belief that Christ was crucified in the spring. News of Mulleian’s mammoth, controversial work would soon reach well beyond the United States borders and into Europe, from many major national and international news papers, magazines, television stations and United Press International.

“Spring Crossing” was one of San Francisco’s main attractions at The Frank Gallery on Sutter Street’s Gallery Row. Ron posed as Christ upon a 16 foot high cross, to equal the height of the scaffold where Mulleian was working. Ron posed for up to four hours at a time while passerby gaped in astonishment at both artist and model. People as far away as Bolder Creek, California and throughout the country would come to watch Mulleian at work on this epic peace bearing small gifts such as flowers, letters, and wine for the artist, followed by extensive media attention for months to come throughout the U.S. The painting took six months to complete. Mulleian was 25 years old.

The big break through for Ron came when modeling for this mural-sized painting from extensive national media coverage that surrounded Mulleian’s exhibits and the controversial nature of his works. Such exposure, starting in the early 70s, brought further international media attention and, consequently launched Ron Raz’s modeling career. He then was discovered by New York’s modeling profession Rock Shots in 1977. After three years of modeling for national fashion magazines and an assortment of other commercial periodicals while living in Laguna Beach, Ron eventually left for New York were he became one of Rock Shot’s top models were Images of Raz had been publicized for nearly thirty years on national magazine covers, cover stories and articles, ranging from Mandate to After Dark magazine to famous post cards by Rock Shots and many written columns on the model in New York cities respected news papers such as the New York Times, New York Post, A.M. New York and the New York Native. Ron also has appeared in the following mainstream films, What’s Up Doc, Freedie and the Bean and The Towering Inferno.

Ron Raz still lives in New York and occasionally makes photo appearance and writes published articles on ecology and the environment and is politically active. He is also co-hosting an East Coast radio program, WDVR FM, out of Sergeantsville New Jersey. Mark Mulleian and Ron Raz still keep in touch by phone to this day.

− by Paul Deegan –


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