The World of Wonder Storefront Gallery reopens on April 25 with the group show “depARTed,” featuring works themed to celebrities who “inspired before they expired.” The show’s curator, actor Daniel Franzese, introduces you to Nathan C Meier, one of the contributors:
Nathan Meier is both a painter and an award-winning filmmaker. A native of Salt Lake City, Meier moved to California in 2001 to study film and video at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia. Though his focus has been primarily documentary filmmaking, Meier has always maintained a passion for drawing and painting.
I first met Nathan at a Paper magazine party here in LA a few years back and we became fast friends. I love those parties because you can always meet cool folks into art and happenings. Nathan told me about his paintings and his series, “Kidnapped.” It’s an apt title because Meier’s style of painting attempts to alter a viewer’s perception of the image by removing it further from context; by isolating a figure from its background, taking away color, and juxtaposing seemingly contradictory elements, it leaves the viewer to feel as if the subject is in fact taken away and removed from their natural habitat. Later, the series found even more resonance when Nathan was held up at gunpoint downtown and robbed of the entire collection and the work was left to exist in a series of haunting and mysterious prints. The sly and ambiguous works are nonetheless captivating and play to our voyeuristic nature. (I own three myself.)
Meier’s paintings often utilize appropriated or found photographs for their subject matters. In my last show “Hollyween,” Nathan played upon the Hollywood vs Halloween element and submitted a haunting painting of the Hollywood sign about to be engulfed in flames during the recent Griffith Park fires, and a compainion piece of a lone palm tree burning in the wind. They were two of the first pieces to be sold on opening night and deservingly so. His contribution to “depARTed” is an extraordinary portrait of the late NYC artist Keith Haring, painted from a photograph taken by his pal, Kenny Scharf, during their friendship. Photos do it no justice at all, so you’ll have to come to “depARTed” show to see it.
Meier is currently producing and directing two documentary films: Last of the Clowns, which centers on a group of former circus clowns, and The Fun’s Inside, a portrait of painter Kenny Scharf. More information at maskfilms.com.
– Daniel Franzese