The paintings of Nathaniel Mather, in their shallow spaces, childlike renderings of animals, flowers, and rough-edged patches of color evoke early 19th century primitive art, and yet a rich symbolic allusiveness and playfulness of spirit give his work a sophistication and poise that are emphatically contemporary. Born and raised in California, Nathaniel received his education from California Institute of the Arts and Art Center College of Design.
Since the early days of his painting, Nathaniel’s work has addressed his longing for a spiritual connection with God and an ongoing relationship and dialog with him. “I am processing what it looks like to paint work that is true, beautiful and restorative. I want to reflect God’s wonder and grace while wrestling with daily struggles and pain.” Nathaniel explains, “I can easily fall back to a position of destructive, let’s break all the rules attitude, but I have found that an attitude of anger and disconnection does not enable me to produce work I am interested in”.
In 1996 Nathaniel began to incorporate text and found objects into his paintings to illustrate the current cultural slide. Often his images are parallel to his daily life and struggles, which he shares with the viewer. Nathaniel has discovered that over the years he has found his own vocabulary of images that represent the world around him. The horse and donkey are a common image in his work, suggesting the strength and beauty of God. Birds and flowers represent human characteristics and emotions. Incorporating stamps and paper into his work gives the paintings a quality of age, travel and experience.
Paintings are done in water medium materials usually on canvas or board.
Along with his fine art, Nathaniel is an illustrator working for such clients as Warner Bros./Reprise Records, Brown University, American Lawyer Magazine, Johns Hopkins University, Liberty Records, Coast Magazine and many more.