What: San Francisco on Ham (and other abnormal abstractions), paintings by Elliott C. Nathan
When: January 30–February 24, 2013
Where: The Ramp Gallery, a community curated space at 934 Brannan St. (between 8th and 9th
Elliott C. Nathan loves bright colors and thick black lines. His most recent works explore the world through a Pop and Surrealist lens, translating elephants, squid, the All-Seeing Eye, explosions, San Francisco architecture, vintage TVs, robots, hearts, and ham into colorful mixed media paintings. Nathan works constantly to provide viewers with the opportunity to engage with something new, strange, thought-provoking, and giggle-inducing.
Beginning with a “canvas” made from found, saved, or re-purposed materials, such as scrap wood, event posters, discarded books, photographs, and any other “morsels” he encounters, Nathan creates train-of-thought drawings in paint markers, which he then paints over with brilliant colors. The result is a vibrant blend of fluidly-rendered illustration embedded with everyday ephemera of the city. In one work, the artist collaged a year’s worth of receipts of his own expenses into the ground of the work, allowing random bits of numbers and signatures to peek through.
Describing his process, Nathan states, “I allow my mind to relax and let my hand flow as I watch what emerges. My mentality is that with a can of white paint, it’s impossible to make a mistake; I just paint over what I don’t like and repeat the process. I’ve spent the last few years experimenting with a variety of eclectic styles, and in the past six months have been working diligently to create a cohesive body of work. After viewing some of my paintings people sometimes ask ‘Why ham?’ to which I reply, ‘Why not? Do you prefer turkey?’”
Hailing from rural Connecticut, Elliott C. Nathan is an up-and-coming Mission District commercial artist who has been living and working in San Francisco for two years. In that short time he has had seventeen public showings, including four gallery shows and three art auctions. Nathan’s creations come in many forms: street art, paintings, sculptures, books, graphics, murals, and his mini-skateboard company, SunkenMonkey.com.
His inspiration draws from the Pop and Surrealist works of Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and street artists like Keith Haring and Banksy. As a 10 year old child, Nathan’s parents let him choose the art that would hang in his room. He selected a wall-sized print of Picasso’s Guernica to hang over his bed, from which he practiced drawing Picasso-esque faces.
His work has also been featured in a number of blogs and newspapers, including MissionMission, SF Gate, Mission Local, The Uptown Almanac, and The Examiner. As told by StreetArtSF.com in a recent interview, “Elliott C. Nathan creates playful pop culture style street art. Its fun, silly, upbeat, sometimes irreverent nature is like walking into the definition of cool.”
To watch videos of Elliott C. Nathan’s process, visit his website at elliottcnathan.com.
About The Ramp Gallery
The Ramp Gallery, a community curated space in the SOMArts lobby, accepts exhibition proposals on a continual basis. To view submission information as well as past exhibitions, please visit The Ramp Gallery page of our website here. To purchase work on display or for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit The Ramp Gallery any time SOMArts Cultural Center is open.
Image above: “POP! TV“, 2012, paintmarker on canvas, 3 ft. x 4 ft.