Joshua Nathanson: Online Viewing Room
Nathanson is an adventurous, experimental painter (b. 1976) who earned his Master of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Art and Design in Pasadena. His influences range from the grand modernist Henri Matisse, to the materially inventive Sigmar Polke, to the cartoonish, gestural Philip Guston. Inventive, physical, and social, he is interested in technique and process and frequently organizes drawing parties with other painters as a “way to get out of my own head.” A scrap from a recent gathering was collaged into Get Apple (2022).
This method is one of many strategies used to manifest ideas that are hidden from resting consciousness, which Nathanson describes as a necessary way to “throw myself off-balance.” Other strategies include: pouring paint, adding solvents, automatic painting/drawing, or adding collaged elements like tissue paper.
"This painting started out with the simple idea of a person sitting down to read the newspaper. But, like all mundane activities, there is a sense that things aren’t that stable beyond a cursory glance. The newspaper is depicted at the top left and is being held by a bloated hand that appears in the middle of the canvas. There is also a type of disintegration taking place here and it isn’t quite clear where one thing begins or ends. This painting was made with tissue paper and flocking. These materials help the painting feel as though it is taking place on multiple planes. A large bird with purple wings flies across the top of the canvas."
Already Gone, 2022
"This painting started out as a portrait of my son Charlie. He’s almost two years old but I was imagining him in his 20s sitting in an old bar having a beer. I had recently watched the movie “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” and I was moved by its tenderness and how it dealt with aging, time, and a type of love that can transcend these forces. It was filmed in Berlin in the early 70s so many of the settings had strange color palettes that felt both warm and dissonant. As I worked on this painting the image of Charlie dissolved and meshed into the background. To me, this work feels haunted but by a friendly ghost who’s very alive in the present moment."