And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.

“The Idea of Order at Key West” Wallace Stevens

nate hester

Nate Hester is a native North Carolinian with a Master’s of Fine Arts (Boston University, 2005) degree who has exhibited widely and whose works are included in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum (Harvard University), the Allen Memorial Art Gallery (Oberlin College), the Newark Public Library and the New York Public Library. He has an amazing son, loves surviving sprint triathlons and feeds three koi that he rarely sees in a backyard pond.

See a Snapshot of His Current Practice @ Instagram: nate_is_pretty_sketchy

Check Out His Archives Here @ Instagram: have_a_nate_day

i draw every day.

Hester seems confused, alarmed and mesmerized by the adult world of predatory capitalism, perpetual warfare and non-belonging alienation most especially in the forms of racism, divorce and sexual discrimination. Here, toys, fantasmagoric beasts, human figures and words cavort through nature and the built environment in almost but never fully comprehensible ways. Is his vision a flight of fancy? A capitulation? A retreat? Or, is his tenderness the real revolution in the face of the world’s brutality? At the end of the day, playful delight, soulful tenderness and sensual intimacy prevail.

The activity of drawing helps me center my attention on the wonders and beauty which are always all around us.

people sometimes ask him why he leaves his pieces unfinished

Here’s His Answer

I am committed to black-and-white tonal compositions as the main medium for my artistic expression for a whole bunch of reasons. For one, we had a black-and-white television until I was in middle school. My first art loves beyond the Saturday morning cartoons was Rapahel Soyer’s scenes of Depression-era male workers and DaVinci’s “Madonna on the Rocks.” Both of those are almost without color. I also happen to dream in black-and-white with hints of sepia. Moreover, my favorite tools (vine charcoal and sumi ink) are black-and-white. I love how “democratic” those tools are by being inexpensive – sort of like Pele being able to afford a soccer ball even in the favela. I also like how shamanistic and elemental sumi ink and vine charcoal are; I mean, a piece of charcoal is nothing more than compressed carbon compounds – or, ancient earth. I also like that their transparence and ability to be erased help me explore my own experience of time and space as transient, ephemeral, dynamic and impermanent. Lastly, I am uncomfortable with the artist as deliberately obtuse or unknowable. I make art to understand myself and my world better. I make art in hopes that my search for meaning aids your search for meaning. Since the goal is expanded empathy, I want there to be a clear channel between my subject, myself and my audience. Sketches are the cleanest way for me to remain gentle and true and intimate with myself and you.

I am also just here until I get a follow from Florence Welch, Katie Porter, Ibram X Kendi, Bo Burnham and Wes Anderson.

Nate Hester