Exhibition | Nat Martin: Studio Views | at Kingston gallery | boston | Art Week

Nat Martin: Studio Views

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Wednesday, 2 January 2019 to Saturday, 2 February 2019
Thursday, 3 January 2019 -
5:00pm to 8:00pm

Throughout 2018 and 2019, I was watching, listening and reading about climate change as my anxiety on this topic has been steadily growing. I had hoped to educate myself on new technologies and to even feel a little hopeful, but instead I was drawn into a kind of anxious daydream. This series was created during that time and I think of it like imagery from a long, nervous sleep.

At one point, I became intrigued by stories suggesting the possibility of scientists finding a new, habitable planet for humans. Fascinated by the absurdity of this idea, I created and photographed environments where alien world are being explored by probes and satellites. I also imagined a future earth, ravaged by climate change… charred, barren, underwater. In these photographs, both worlds are alien to the contemporary eye.

The perspective in many of these photographs is intended to take on the passive view of a satellite or rover. In Tangled I imagined a final transmission from a rover that was caught up in dense, wet plants on some distant planet. Other photographs channel the heroic and grand perspectives seen in vintage illustrations of space exploration, as well as in the 19th century, romantic oil paintings by Albert Bierstadt.

Aside from one work, Waterfall, I created the photographs in my small, home studio. With an exposure time of about 30 seconds, each scene was fabricated. These are worlds created by mundane materials such as a bucket of dried gel medium, a large chunk of rock salt from the side of the road, or a mixture of glue, wax and house paint poured on plexiglass and then charred with a heat gun. When my children gifted me a little bonsai tree I ended up lighting it on fire in my driveway because I wanted the effect of a burned tree trunk. They forgave me.

As a parent to young children, night has gradually become my time of art making… so I associate this series with darkness, dreaming, nightmares, worry, fantasy. The hectic day is done and the mind is left to wander and explore. I think of Transmission as the starting point of the series. It shows a house at night with someone still awake. The person could be making art or perhaps they are watching a glowing screen that is displaying a video feed from a distant world.

I'm not a traveler, I'm a dreamer. Last night I went to China —Ray Johnson (1927-1995)

Truly all is remarkable and a wellspring of amazement and wonder. Man is so fortunate to dwell in this American Garden of Eden —Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)


Venue ( Name ):

Venue ( Address ): 

Kingston Gallery

450 Harrison ave, #43

Boston, MA 02118, USA

Other shows from Kingston gallery

Erica Licea-Kane: Half Spaces
03/04/2020 to 03/29/2020
Vaughn Sills: Inside Outside
02/05/2020 to 03/01/2020
On-Kyeong Seong: Embedment February 5 - March 1, 2020
02/05/2020 to 03/01/2020
Susan Emmerson: Tears Along the Edge
01/02/2020 to 02/02/2020



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