Tuesday, March 2, 2010

a new artist statement

"break," 2010
6 x 6 inches, color pencil & paper

hello people,
so i needed to come up with a new statement for the work i've been producing since getting out of graduate school and i thought about posting it here to get some feedback. it's built upon by some part's of my last statement, since there are certainly related elements. here are links to the galleries that this statement is referencing:

any help or feedback will be much appreciated.

Artist Statement:

The need to communicate is important. As an inhibited person my artwork often ends up expressing my thoughts visually much more than I do verbally. Most recently the work has been referencing my transition out of graduate school and into reality. As someone who tends to procrastinate, trying to find footing for the next step in life has been a challenge. Looking through the work one may notice a sequence arranging a narrative. By animating my body language, inserting carefully composed symbols, and utilizing text I create a visual conversation with myself and the viewer. I suspect the feelings and emotions I depict are universal, but they come from specific, personal experiences.

Blue's and red's create an intense vibrancy in the color, both attracting attention and visually disrupting the viewer. Fragmented cinder blocks along with shallow water refer to instability or insecurity, alluding to ideas that I am adrift and wading through unventured territory in my life. The presentation of my subconscious world has led me to arrange many pieces with a theatrical display. This dominant feature has been a curtain in the midst of being raised or lowered - either elegant and still or uneven and disheveled. With this work I compose scenes from the stage inside my brain.

Nathan Vernau,
March 2010


  1. Okay, so since you wanted feedback, here are my thoughts.

    "Looking through the work one may notice a sequence arranging a narrative."

    I got a little lost after reading this sentence. I think it's just the grammar though but it's unclear where you're going. Do you want to say one may notice a narrative sequence? Grammatically the sentence is awkward because I don't think sequences have the agency to arrange narratives. If this sentence is about a progression in your work it should come earlier when you're talking about the transition from grad school to reality.

    The second paragraph is really good. I think you should flesh out more the connection between your presentation of the subconscious and the theatrical display. Theatrical almost makes me think of subversion and bringing up the subconscious makes me think of a freer play of ideas not restricted by order. I'm not sure if that's where you're going but I get the sense that somewhere you're talking about the subversion of norms that are oppressive in language while art offers a place to mediate/negotiate them. I'd be interested in more play with that, some discussion of tension/anxiety with order. Not sure if that's where you're going, but you could consider it.

    Good stuff though.

  2. thanks Jose,
    i think you're right about that first sentence - it needs to be re-worded/re-structured.

    glad you liked the second paragraph. i want to fix it up as well as i can, but keeping it brief as possible. i'd like for this statement to stay in the 2-paragraph length for purposes of brevity, but still be able to give you just enough information. i'll be looking it over at work today.

  3. Hi Nathan,
    First off, your artist statement cracks me up when you ay you are going through a transition from graduate school to reality. are you saying graduate school is not reality? wahhahaha. i know what you mean, but still makes me laugh.

    i totally understand what you are trying to do with your artist statement, but to be honest what it feels like you are doing is describing your artwork - now, that is important to do, but sometimes feel repetitive in an artist statement. i wonder if you could play with this sentence a little more: "As an inhibited person my artwork often ends up expressing my thoughts visually much more than I do verbally." Rather than literally describe the formal elements in your pieces, perhaps expand on how challenged you are as a "verbally inhibited person"....this might compliment the work more - give the viewer more of a window in to what your work is about from a social/emotional point of view, rather than a literal description. This also might give you what I call a "lasting artist statement"....one that works for a number of different bodies of work. Just an idea.....

  4. that's great rachel. thanks for your response. you have no idea how much i'd love a "lasting artist statement." i end up analyzing ever last letter in these damn things.

    and i can honestly say, being out of school feels way realer than being in it. hah.

  5. 凡是遇到困擾的問題,不要把它當作可怕的,討厭的,無奈的遭遇,而要把它當作歷練、訓練和幫助。........................................