May 31st, 2013
A new addition to our walls in the vibrant and optimistic work of Tennessee-based artist Nathaniel Mather.
The paintings of Nathaniel Mather, in their shallow spaces, childlike renderings of animals, flowers, and rough-edged patches of color evoke early 19Th century primitive art, and yet a rich symbolic allusiveness and playfulness of spirit give his work a sophistication and poise that are emphatically contemporary. Born and raised in California , Nathaniel received his education from the California Institute of the Arts and Art Center College of Design.
Since the early days of his painting, Nathaniel’s work has addressed his longing for a spiritual connection with God and an ongoing relationship and dialog with him. “I am processing what it looks like to paint work that is true, beautiful and restorative, I want to reflect God’s wonder and grace while wrestling with daily struggles and pain.” Nathaniel explains,” I can easily fall back to a position of destructive; let’s break all the rules and attitude, but I have found that an attitude of anger and disconnection does not enable me to produce work I am interested in.”
In 1996 Nathaniel began to incorporate text and found objects into his paintings to illustrate the current cultural slide. Often his images are parallel to his daily life and struggles, which he shares with the viewer. Nathaniel has discovered that over the years he has found his own vocabulary of images that represent the world around him. Incorporating stamps and paper into his work gives the paintings a quality of age, travel and experience. And his paintings are done in water-based medium materials, usually on canvas or board.
Along with his fine art, Nathaniel is an illustrator working for such clients as Warner Bros./Reprise Records, Brown University, American Lawyer Magazine, Johns Hopkins University, Liberty Records, Coast Magazine and many more.
Nathaniel lives and works in Nashville TN.
“I incorporate images of birds, animals and assorted creatures in my paintings to represent the emotions, joys, conflicts and relationships that are a part of my life.
I start painting purely abstract and eventually work back into the object.
While painting I am processing what it looks like to paint work that is true, beautiful and restorative, I want to reflect God’s wonder and grace while wrestling with daily struggles and pain.
I bring a sense of playfulness to my work, without minimizing the complexities of life.
The paintings are prepared with acrylic incorporating postage stamps, text, old world maps and vintage food labels.”