Experiencing Typographic Nudes

TIME: April 1, 2009
LOCATION: Darien, CT

For the purpose of this blog, I have named Nat’s works “Greetings” (the painting in our reception area) and “The Day” (the painting at the end of a rather dark, windowless swath of office).

Gail Wiggin, April 1, 2009

Greetings

No matter what the “headset” when entering our office, a person usually breaks into a smile or inhales in surprise when eyes meet this work. It’s lively presence demands attention simply cannot be ignored. The surface is an exercise in paradox—flat, linear forms that interact with ambiguous dimension. A story that can’t quite be seen seems to be going on just outside the canvas. Strong horizontals bisect the work—and yet they don’t. At second glance, while the forms are defined with hard-edged lines, the shapes themselves have tubular dimension and weave themselves into rather confounding complexity. We think, “Wait, where is that going? And where does that come from? And, that makes no sense but I really like it!” Only in one area is there a familiar perpendicular interaction—all the rest is freeform melody that changes with each viewing of the painting.

The red and black beckon powerfully from some primitive level and the white completes the invitation– but wait, the third colors not white…it’s cream – a significant choice by the artist. Cream warms up what would be a complementary white and makes it a symbol—so we experience the color as an organic light source rather than as an absence.

The Day

In all truth, this painting completely changed the tone of our work area. It sits on a wall that used to be a blank dead-end that nonetheless drew the eye– and consistently disappointed. Instead, we turn the corner and whoa, we recognize the characters but ask “what are they doing?” Gone is all semblance of a familiar axis… there’s not a perpendicular in sight. The lyricism makes sense in this painting. There’s a perfect balance in the upper reaches that confidently coalesces into a single black stroke that funnels down towards the bottom of the work like a tornado’s arm. It has an agenda and it is to harness the senses. Something is being created here. We can almost hear the wind blowing.

(Thank you my friend for your wonderful insightful words. As an artist, It is a privilege learning how others see and live with my art.)

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