1xRun Thru Interview
The God Particle by Nathan Spoor
1xRun: Tell us a bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Nathan Spoor: The God Particle has reference to the Higgs boson that was theorized in the 60’s and proven to exist more recently. Essentially, I can’t explain what or why the boson exists, it’s physics remains outside my area of expertise or casual knowledge. What I do understand is that no one really knows what its purpose is, but its existence is now proven and has an impact on our future. Essentially, it’s a game changer. The painting shows an allegory of such a moment of discovery that changes the world of those in its presence. That’s a pretty short description of what’s going on, at least in that painting. This original is in a private collection now. It was painted using acrylic on canvas a few years ago. It took about a year to complete. I tend to work on several at the same time, so care is always taken when nurturing the new ideas into finished works.
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Nathan Spoor: I think that’s the idea – highlighting a moment when all involved are a part of a creative spark that transforms everything. Most of my work revolves around pursuing that sort of moment.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Nathan Spoor: I’d love to go into the exact how and why the ideas come about, but in reality I can only get close to explaining any of it. Ideas arrive when they’re needed, when the series reaches a point where the next piece of the puzzle is necessary.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Nathan Spoor: This took several months to paint. But in reality I had this idea in the beginning stages a decade ago, when the series began. There are a few of those ideas in the mix, ones that just take time to gestate or fall into place at the right time. It’s a sixth sense sort of thing in some ways, and I trust that the right ingredients will add up to the equivalent of a master dish ready for serving when the time comes – sort of a fine art parallel to what I can only imagine a master chef might process. Maybe that’s not the best metaphor but it comes close enough to illustrating the end result of what I wish for a piece, to be a moment of optical revelry made to order for entertainment, education and visual consumption.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Nathan Spoor: I’ve always felt the “why” someone collects art to be a personal adventure for the collector or patron. I’m always curious what the individual connections are to the work, I love to hear those stories. They’re always quite diverse and have that one thing in common – they like it because they like it. Why someone collects something is a wonderful and personal thing.
1xRun: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Nathan Spoor: Plasma.
1xRun: You have been staying super busy lately, give us the rundown on the what has been going on with your continuing Suggestivism series and the latest Risqué show with Jeff McMillan.
Nathan Spoor: I stay busy with several concepts for exhibits and many paintings for various stages of this series. It’s pretty wonderful really. The Suggestivism shows are an ongoing part of what I started working on in grad school years ago to help talk about my work, what it means and how I come about deciding on the ideas to pursue. Then I noticed a common thread with ‘suggestivism’ with other artists and some great folks have wanted to put on those shows and help keep the energy of that building. That’s wonderful to know that it’s been so well received – we have new shows coming up in 2014 for that in Europe and one at Copro Gallery in August. Can’t wait to see those pieces!
Risqué is a fantastic challenge given to fellow artist and curator Jeff McMillan and I by the director of the Long Beach Museum of Art. We had their largest turnout on record for an opening on record, as well as some great press and viewer response. We’ll keep you posted on future exhibits along those lines, there are some exciting plans in the mix.
1xRun: You have told us that many of your pieces all weave together for The Intimate Parade, how did the idea come about for this continuing story?
Nathan Spoor: Well it started out as one thing and evolved into something larger. Originally I wanted to create a three-part narrative within 5 years, but it became more complex and interesting. I could not limit the work that was appearing… and it wasn’t conforming to my “plan”. So I gave up the plan and just decided to follow the unfolding narrative of the organic flow of the work. That was 12 years ago.
1xRun: How have these pieces evolved over the years?
Nathan Spoor: Good question – I’ve noticed the works change from something I’d thought was a love story that would have this grand finale and transition into some new body of work. But what’s happened is that the work has become some hypnotic allegory to life and growth in a broader sense. The transitions are there but they blend in along the way.
1xRun: What are some inspirations that some viewers might not see at first glance looking at your work?
Nathan Spoor: I don’t know that there are things that viewers don’t see in the inspiration department, but I have been told many times that part of what people enjoy about the work is that there is something new to see each time they look at it. I think that joy of discovery is the essence of what the work is built on, so that feels like a successful transfer of inspiration to me.
1xRun: What have you been listening to lately?
Nathan Spoor: I wish I had a dedicated play list to share. I tend to find a companion podcast or comedian to listen to, or a show on Netflix that can just play back to back. I’m really excited that the Stone Roses are working on new music though, I hear there’s a new album in the works for 2015!
1xRun: Any new artists that you have really been digging as of late?
Nathan Spoor: There are so many. I like all kinds of artists, old and new. Great work says what it needs to say and leaves an inspiring seed in the mind of a viewer. And bad work, if you believe that exists, or works of art that are unappealing, can teach us a lot as well. I’ve found that there is something to learn in bad or unsuccessful work, both from other people and from myself. That may sound odd but from making art for a while as well as writing about it, I’ve started to look at things differently. I usually want to find the positive in a person or a work of art – even if it’s a failure. I analyze my own work and try to help it grow into more successful representations of the idea and also to not re-visit past works that didn’t measure up. That’s a challenge too, just letting something be and moving on to concentrate on new work that is there to help me grow and evolve.
Mostly, as far as liking any specific art or artists and being inspired, I really try to stick to my current state of not over-intellectualizing how I look at art and just concentrate on the ideas swirling around in my mind waiting to get out. That helps me to not focus on what other artists are doing and challenge myself to be better than what I saw myself produce the last time. I’ve noticed that often times I can have an idea that seems really solid and interesting, and that if I let it sit for a bit a new evolution of that idea will appear that is 10 times more interesting and eloquent than the first appearance. I think at some point an artist makes that transition and it’s a pivotal moment – the rest of the world is out there but what really matters is that the artist needs to tune most things out and really focus on their voice.