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Take a look at any of the dozen or so paintings by LA-based artist Nathan Spoor on view now at NYC’s Bold Hype Gallery, and it’s obvious that you never, ever have to grow up if you don’t want to. Phantom Passport is the artist’s latest collection, featuring new paintings created by Spoor over the last two years. When you examine the image density in these paintings, which depict characters from storybooks or the artist’s own fecund imagination, toys, games and strange, dreamlike interactions and landscapes, you can see how it would take months for Spoor to fine tune each canvas. His pictures are amazingly complex and I enjoyed trying to pick out familiar images in each one; from the “Cootie” plastic bug assembly toy I enjoyed playing with as a small child, to characters from Alice In Wonderland and various Fairy Tales. I continually discovered new elements for the first time, even after multiple viewings.
Nathan was at Thursday night’s opening party and he was super nice (and, oh, so handsome). I asked him if, like Kenny Scharf, he outlines each image before beginning to compile the layers of visual montage that will fill his canvas, and he said that yes, he always has a carefully planned outline before he even gets started. You can also tell that his paintings are extremely personal to him. Spoor also writes for acclaimed art publications like Hi Fructose and Juxtapoz magazines, so you know his writing, like his painting, marries passion with an understanding of the arts in context. I’m looking forward to keeping an eye on his future endeavors. With Nathan Spoor’s Phantom Passport, Bold Hype Gallery has hit another one out of the park.
Phanton Passport is on Exhibit until June 4, 2011 at Bold Hype Gallery, Located at 547 W 27th Street (Between 10th and 11th Aves) 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Gallery Hours are 12 – 5 PM, Tuesday – Saturday