Joshua Nathanson

Region: Pacific Coast

My paintings begin as plein air drawings I make in public sites of leisure and ritual, such as malls, beaches, and cemeteries. I exaggerate the figures and landscapes I see and supplement them with imagined, often humorous forms to convey the frenzied and saturated experience of aesthetic reception in our present moment. Evoking the illuminated space of the now omnipresent screen, my paintings insist on a playful freneticism as well as a flat and graphic quality that acknowledges the role of digital technologies and media in the production and conception of my imagery. However, my work remains heavily influenced by nineteenth-century art-historical movements such as impressionism, which explore the relationship of vision and modern experience through painterly representation. My paintings similarly prioritize the act of perception and explore the relationship of movement, color, and light to the emotional and psychical conditions of contemporary life—from anxiety and alienation to equilibrium and transcendence.