Anima Astratto: Journey into Perception

St James Hotel, Nottingham, United Kingdom

14th November 2014 – 3rd January 2015

Artist Statement

My early career was in graphic design—I’ve always loved bold, graphic imagery. When I first started practicing fine art photography, I was living in Colorado. I was naturally drawn to the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains and much of my early work was in nature photography. Ansel Adams and William Neill were my heroes.

But soon I discovered my preference for pictures with more mystery and intrigue. This revelation led to my passion for abstract photography so I studied the work of Man Ray, Minor White, Gerhard Richter and other innovative photographers of the 20th century.

Photographs typically document their subjects by providing varying amounts of visual information. Often, as beautiful as the resulting image may be, many questions are answered, which leaves little room for wonder and imagination.

The notion of using a camera to decisively remove information, instead of providing details to tell a clear story, simultaneously fascinates and challenges me. Creating pure abstraction with a camera can be surprisingly difficult, because a camera is very good at faithfully reproducing reality—in most photographs it’s easy to figure out ‘what it’s a picture of’. But a truly abstract image provides no clues about its subject and extracts pure visual appearance from the essence of the thing.

Thus the aim of my abstract photography is to present graphic imagery that eliminates information about the subject while emphasising shapes, textures and colours. And even the most minimal image can elicit emotional reactions. I’m intrigued by the ways simple graphics and colours can affect our psychology.

I also want the resulting pictures to engage and fascinate individual viewers, each for different reasons. When we look at art, we carry our past with us. Our experiences and preferences influence our perceptions. What we see reflects who we are.

So when you view my work, I invite you to use your imagination and interpret the picture for yourself. It takes some effort—appreciating abstract art requires you to participate in its fulfillment.

I hope my work will inspire you to think, to imagine and, most importantly, to experience the visceral effects of visual imagery; of seeing and feeling. Intellectually, this can lead to the wonder of deeper subjects like the meaning of our existence and the true nature of reality itself.

Ultimately, I make pictures because I love beautiful things and want to share them with you. I believe we all have a responsibility for shaping our own environments in ways that make us happy—art and decor are important elements in our lives. My work is not meant to make profound statements as much as it’s designed to create interesting feelings.

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Abstract book

Nat's book "Astratto Uno" features over 150 abstract photographs made over a period of nine years. You can get it in printed format or as a downloadable PDF.
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People are talking…

“I’ve known Nat for many years and shot extensively throughout the western US with him. When moving to a new home my wife and I wanted to create a more modern and yet natural and organic atmosphere. Nat’s environmental abstracts were the perfect blend of light, color, and composition that brought warmth into our home and create an interesting point of conversation when we have guests.” –Mark Ferguson, Boulder, Colorado, USA
 
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