Nat Martin: Studio Views

January 2-February 2, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, January 3, 2020, 5:00-8:00 pm
Special Event: Open Mic Poetry Night with Lewis M., Friday, January 10, 2020, 7:00-9:00 pm

  • Nat Martin

    Transmission, Archival Ink Jet Print, 15 x 23 inches, 2019.

  • Nat Martin

    Morning, Archival Ink Jet Print, 13 x 16 inches, 2018-19.

  • Nat Martin

    Deep Below, Archival Ink Jet Print, 2018.

    Deep Below
  • Nat Martin

    Beneath the Ice, Archival Ink Jet Print, 2018.

    Beneath the Ice
  • Nat Martin

    Coming Up, Archival Ink Jet Print, 17 x 23 inches, 2019.

    Coming Up
  • Nat Martin

    Shore 1, Archival Ink Jet Print, 2019.

    Shore 1

Artist Page
Press Release
"Musings by Artist Nat Martin." Kingston Blog, December 18, 2019.
Spring, Elin & Révy, Suzanne, "Best Photo Picks January 2020." What Will You Remember? January 2, 2020.
McQuaid, Cate. "What's happening in the arts world." The Boston Globe, Arts, January 2, 2020, Arts: The Ticket-Galleries.
Révy, Suzanne. "Three Gems in SOWA." What Will You Remember? Janaury 15, 2020.

Artist Statement

These pictures started with a desire (unrelated to art making) to better understand the specifics of climate change science. Late at night in 2018/19 I was listening to climate change podcasts and reading more about the topic. A conversation between Sam Harris and Joseph Romm (Making Sense Podcast #95) was particularly powerful and alarming. For a time, hearing about climate change was literally the last thing I was doing before going to sleep and I think of these pictures as something like imagery from a long, nervous dream (which I had a number of at the time). I gradually became interested in creating landscapes that owe more to the emotional realm of fear, imagination and worry than to the realm of science.

Some of these photos are meant to suggest a violent, hostile future earth. Others are views from imagined satellites or probes that could be looking for a safe home on alien worlds (the result of a number of news stories speculating about habitable places for humans). A few are set underwater, which was influenced by a news story about rovers exploring the seas of Jupiter's moon Europa. For me, each photo depicts a moment of exploration and the discovery of more and more unaccommodating, strange places.

The perspective in many of these photographs is intended to take on the passive view of a satellite or rover. Other photographs attempt to channel the heroic and grand perspectives seen in vintage illustrations of space exploration, as well as in the 19th c. landscape paintings of Albert Bierstadt.

I created all of the photographs in my small, home studio (although Shore I and Shore II combine recent studio photographs with photographs of waves that I shot in Los Angeles). Each scene was fabricated and shot late at night in near total darkness with very long exposures. I associate the series with night and for that reason I think of Transmission as the starting point. It shows a house with someone still awake, making art or looking at a screen. The subject is a plastic model house that I purchased on Ebay.  It looks nothing like my house, but I loved how the building has a spacecraft-like effect and appears to have just landed.

I included studio ephemera and related photos on instant film because I love the studio process and the clutter that develops around a series. The little objects relate to playing with scale in the studio, and the little photos are alternate set ups and views.

I'm not a traveler, I'm a dreamer.  Last night I went to China —Ray Johnson (1927-1995)

Truly all is remarkable and a wellspring of amazement and wonder. Man is so fortunate to dwell in this American Garden of Eden —Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)

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