Nathaniel Mary Quinn Portrays "The Land"
Most of the galleries worldwide are starting the new season with banger exhibitions, and NYC's Salon 94 is no exception to that. Last weekend they opened their inaugural show with Nathaniel Mary Quinn who we interviewed back in August 2017, presenting his first large-scale presentation in his hometown.
“I love my neighbors. We speak nearly every day. They have embraced me into their world – their land. Now, it is my home, my neighborhood. Many have lived here for more than a half-century, and while they have witnessed much change, never have they seen the dramatic alteration currently in motion on account of gentrification.” —Nathaniel Mary Quinn. August 2018
The Land consists of 15 new portraits on canvas and paper, all depicting artist's neighbors from the Crown Heights neighborhood. Although having this collage-like feel, the artist himself and everyone who is following his work can't stress enough that these images are all painted. Constructed from memory, and often mixed with fantasy elements, these creations are rendered using acrylic, charcoal, gouache, oil paint, paint sticks, and gold leaf. This variety of techniques emphasizes the collage-feel of the works, but also the idea of re-creating the image of a person from a variety of fragmented elements. From physical key features to their outfits, posture and even background, every segment of the work depicts a certain quality, while also portraying the artist's relationship with the subject. Both highly associative and autobiographical, these paintings are Quinn's effort to pay tribute both to all the individuals which are an essential part of his everyday life, as well as capture the moment in time when this community existed. —Sasha Bogojev