Its taken way too long to get around to writing this... a few months ago I got some fan mail, its seriously a great thing. For me it comes with a brief sense of satisfaction and a lasting sense of humility. I'm really pleased that someone was moved in a positive way by my work and at the same time I feel incredibly thankful and a bit amazed that I'm able to do that kind of thing.
It just so happened that the person who crafted my first "fan mail" is a gifted wordsmith. As a visual artist I've never been happy trying to write about my work. I've heard the overused cliche a million times about how authors are never asked to draw a self portrait, so why should I have to write some kind of a bio or statement? It's still hard to disagree.
Long story short, I asked for some help in writing about my work... and I think it turned out great. If you need help connecting your seemingly disconnected thoughts and crafting them in an elegant, readable manner, please connect with my new friend Kristine Page.
Here's what she wrote:
Nate Sonnenberg is a philosopher of sorts, albeit, an unconventional one. Which I guess all philosophers are to some degree. Either way, that’s really neither here nor there. At the heart of the matter is that Sonnenberg thinks about things a lot, and not in a very traditional sense of the word...
You can almost see the 3-D modeling of concepts being created in the space behind his eyes as he speaks about seemingly simple, everyday things, like traffic. Nate is the type of artist that is committed to exploring and exalting in the process with a relish similar perhaps to a dog digging a hole. It’s not about getting to the center of the earth, but exploring the process that takes you further down the rabbit hole of each creative venture.
Sonnenberg’s work reveals itself most clearly as an exercise in conceptual processes that stem from a fascination with the patterns of daily life. While these patterns remain firmly rooted in the realm of the everyday, the mundane and the commonplace, the result of following them from end to end result in conceptual pieces that challenge the viewer to explore the elements of precision and areas of flux that abstractly illustrate a sense of flow experienced by all, but observed by few.
Sonnenberg weaves together everyday events that show process and expose patterns, creating exuberant, life-affirming paintings that speak to the man behind the canvas and the thought behind each stroke. The results illustrate the sheer power of focus in following a singular line of thought through from beginning to end with definition and purpose. With all this talk of focus, purpose and process, it may seem easy to overlook one of the most essential measures of Sonnenberg’s work, which is that of pure uncertainty and surprise. Upon first glance, each gesture appears perfectly calculated, straight and measured to perfection, but with closer inspection, the viewer is rewarded with wobbles of paint that flow freely, creating an uncontrollable flow that frequently surprises even the artist himself, but is reliably built in as a deliberate part of his process. It is this very sense of freedom that sets Sonnenberg apart, this willingness to control, to shape, to define, then to let it all go and be what it will be.