Friday, November 14, 2008

Thank you

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to check out my show at Cerasoli : LeBasse online and especially to those who came out to the opening on Saturday. I had a ton of fun and I really appreciate the support.

As I'm sure you know if you read this blog, because I've probably beat the point to death by now, this show was about portraying different emotions. Even though I like the idea of viewers inserting their own story and experiences into the paintings, I would still like to explain my intention with each piece so that you can better understand where I'm coming from.

Shallow - 24"x30" - I thought it would be fun to illustrate “shallow” in every sense of the word. One definition of the word is “lacking depth of intellect, emotion, or knowledge”. Not only is the boy in the painting standing in shallow water, but he still finds a way to drown himself in it, ignoring the affect he has on his surroundings. The boy holds a single fish, plopping in his hand to represent how a person like this distances themselves from the people around them.

Loved - 30"x60" - Roses are a pretty simple and clear representation of love. But I wanted to convey a little more than just that. I think love is innocent and playful and I tried to show that with the way the girl dresses and the way she stands. I also added the flower petals floating down to show that love can be a beautiful thing, but you have to be careful with it, because it's fragile and it can wilt away. And speaking of fragile...

Fragile - 18"x35" - I tried to tell that story in a few different ways. I played around with washes to create movement in the feel as if something is trying to blow the girl over or push her around. The hair is used as the mask in this instance, creating thin shadows across her face that almost resemble cracks in her skin. And the butterflies are meant to continue the feeling of movement as well as be a symbol for something light and delicate.

Bold - 18"24" - The wolf head is meant to symbolize someone breaking out of their shell and being brave enough to face the world even when things don't look so bright and shiny. The light is still on at home where it's safe, but the boy is still brave enough to venture outside his comfort zone.
Hopeful - 30"x40" - This is probably one of the more straight forward pieces, and is definitely one that I'm most happy with. Everything is rough and colorless and somewhat depressing around the boy, but he holds up a window to a place inside himself that is still bright and happy. That feeling can't help but escape though a small break in the corner and fly out to greet the people around him. I personally love meeting people and hanging around people that are positive and happy. I thinks it's infectious. It immediately puts me in a better mood. I actually used to go to this McDonalds at least twice a week when I lived down in Redondo because they had this manager that was always there and he was the nicest guy in the world. Especially for someone who works in fast food 40 hours a week. I could go through the drive-thru and smile the whole way home.
Dauntless - 24"x24" - I like the word dauntless. It's pretty much just another word for fearless, but it seems so much more impactful. The boy in this instance, is completely fearless. He knows what he wants to be and he's out there doing it, despite the danger. This one is more of a self portrait. Now when I say it's a self portrait, I obviously don't mean I want to be a bird on a wire. And I'm definitely not completely fearless. I wish I was. But I think its a scary thing, trying to make a living as an artist...especially right now when not too many people can afford art. But I can't imagine doing anything else, and whether I make it or fall off that highwire, It's who I am.

Easily Influenced - 18"24" - The TV is a symbol for something that tells you how you should think and feel. I know it's a little obvious, but I thought it was a fun idea. The empty glass next to the boy is a metaphor for something empty, that is waiting to be filled. And the wall behind him is a kind of playful static surrounding everything. So this boy is just sitting on the couch, ready to go..ready for someone to tell him what to think. I think a lot of people feel influenced at certain times of their lives. Sometimes it's hard to filter through the right and wrong.

Nobody - 24"x30" - So here we have this boy, stripped down to almost nothing, sitting alone in his room. He wears a bag on his head, feeling like he has no identity...not even a face worth remembering. He's "nobody". The colors surrounding him are monotone and bland. The world he lives in is almost colorless. But he still has a little hope, shown by the almost happy picture he hangs on his wall(reference to the "Hopeful" painting?). Now that all the depressing stuff is out of the way, it's also meant to be taken a little light hearted. I think a lot of us feel like nobody sometimes. But I don't think any of us should take ourselves too seriously. And now that I think of it...I originally intended to paint a smile on the bag. How did I miss that?

Vain - 24"x48" - So obviously "Vain" is a reworking of "Nest". When I looked at it, I thought it fit so much into this show. The girl is very proud of her appearance and works hard to doll herself . She tries to be something she's not so that she can fit in with her surroundings. But if you look behind the mask, she's not exactly happy or comfortable in her own skin.

Again, thank you guys. I hope this gives you a better look at my thought process and my own personal meaning behind each painting.


Robbin Kjellin said...

I LOVE your work!!!

mack viralata said...

perfect ...amazing work

joel said...

big fan of Shallow! keep on keeping on

Joseph said...

Hey Nate, thanks for sharing your meanings with us all. I'm new to your work but I recognize the boy on the wire from somewhere (maybe just a line drawing though, not sure), it's my favorite. Even though it feels like I've seen it before it's such a "fresh" idea. Look forward to more cool art, good luck making it in this business!

kino escalator said...

dont bite the hand that feeds you!

Bart said...

Wow, I love these. Any chance some of them will make it as prints on Paper Tiger? I'd love to buy the real deal, but Paper Tiger's closer to my budget. :)

javi said...

Amazing as always, Nate. Hope all is cool with ya. Take care bro. Keep it up. -j