Portrait of Carrie Ann Baade
Anagnorisis Fine Arts is proud to present Angelic Possession, a solo exhibit of portraits by emerging artist, Buddy Nestor, taking place at the White Rabbit Lounge in New York City from July 2 through August 3. See below for more details.
Buddy Nestor is an abstract painter. Not too long ago, he struck a strange new chord with portraiture, turning the beautiful faces of female artists into grotesque, distorted creatures, their features uncomfortably recognizable within melting forms, slashes and swirls of Buddy’s abstraction. Belying Buddy’s intention of removing beauty, he has paradoxically enhanced it by use of pleasing shapes and muted colors. His distortions are indeed symbolic of the more difficult sides of our realities; in their beauty they make us look and think.
Samantha Levin: You started painting while you were in the armed forces, correct? What specifically inspired you to pick up the brush while out there?
Buddy Nestor: I started drawing daily when I was old enough to hold a pencil. I did a few paintings in high school art classes, and made a few for gifts in my early twenties, but that was about it. In 1997, during my stint in the Navy, I witnessed my wife give birth to our son Blake. That event made me want to have amazing things to teach him, so I had to up my game in anything that interested me in the past, like juggling, guitar, painting, sports…etc. During that time, I painted for five or six hours a day. It kept me from losing my mind. I had a much better understanding of the medium when I returned home six months later. Making art has been a constant in my life since then.
SL: Five to six hours a day is what all artists should be able to dedicate to their work. I know nothing about the armed forces, so I’m surprised you had the time to do that. Care to comment?
BN: On the aircraft carrier, we worked 12 hour shifts everyday. I was in the same metal room, with the same people, with airplanes being shot off with a catapult one level above my shop. It sounded like a bomb going off. When my shift ended, I’d break out my supplies, put on my headphones and escape inward.
I certainly do not get 6 hours of painting in everyday. Life is not that generous. I get it in whenever I can. Normally, I begin working when the family lays down for the night, when the distractions are minimized. On the weekends, I pack in as much studio time as can.
Portrait of Danielle Ezzo
SL: Your previous work has been very abstract. What kicked off the change?
BN: Representational art led me to drill down into total abstraction and experimentation with different mediums and materials. After a few years, I found that all of the artists that I was drawn to were representational artists. So, I decided to take the abstract techniques that I had developed and apply them into portraits. I began working from photographs. I borrow the values from the photographs to give each piece some dimension, but I treat each area of the head as a separate abstract piece. The resulting images allow the viewer to see them through their own psychological baggage. It’s really my feelings that are projected onto each subject, because I don’t know them very well. I’m attempting to lift the mask off each person and show what it really feels like to be a human, stuck to the Earth, while it floats around in space. There are short moments of satisfaction, but life is a rough ride for everyone.
SL: What are your artistic aspirations?
BN: Painting is my moving meditation. It keeps my life balanced. I work in a way that is fairly minimal and simple. I’ve purposefully created a style that is fun from start to finish. Viewers can easily see how I get my effects and hopefully it inspires some of the younger kids to start painting. I’ve certainly stood in awe of work by artists like Eric White and Alex Grey, but that type of work seems so overwhelmingly difficult it makes me want to quit. Having the opportunity lately, to show my work alongside my peers and artistic heroes is an honor. Ultimately, of course, I would love to be able to paint all day, every day.
SL: Who are some of your favorite artists? What about them influences you?
BN: The Surrealists sparked my interest in art. Magritte, Dali, Matta, and Tanguay most heavily influenced me from that realm. Francis Bacon made me pick up the brush and continues to be my heaviest influence to this day. Scott Cranmer is the most dedicated painter I know. Daily discussions with him help me fight off my TV laziness and keep me in the studio. Paul Romano-Due to his proficiency with any medium and seemingly endless vision. Others include Jenny Saville, Stephen Kasner, Dan Quintana, Jeremy Clark (Hush), Lucian Freud, Jeff Soto, Josh Keyes, Duchamp, Alex Pardee, Doze Green, Kuksi, Giacometti, Shawn Barber, Chet Zar, Oliver Vernon, Pollock, David Hochbaum, Peter Adamyan, Josh Graham, Chris Mars, Charlie Immer, Cam de Leon, JL Schnabel, Picasso, Chuck Close, Erin Endicott, Cliff Wallace, David Stoupakis, Esao Andrews, Joseph Albers, Travis Louie, Mathew Barney, Genevive Zacconi, Judy Chicago, Damon Soule, H.R. Giger, Nicole Boitos, Ekundayo, Christian Rex van Minnen, Katie Perdue, Carrie Ann Baade, JoKa, Eric White, Frank Hyder, John Kolbek, Dan Harding, Naoto Hattori, Dan Barry, Fred Harper, Peggy Wauters, Mathew Ritchie, Robert Williams, and Edith Lebeau. I love their work for very different reasons, but they are all equally inspiring.
SL: Got any videos of you juggling?
BN: There are no videos of me juggling.
SL: So sad.
The opening for Angelic Possession will be particularly wild! Buddy has invited three additional Philly artists, Katie Perdue, Nicole Boitos and Scott Cranmer, to paint live. Video artist Josh Graham, visual mastermind behind metal band Neurosis, and leader of band A Storm of Light has cooked up some mesmerizing visuals for the night.
July 2, 7pm-10pm
White Rabbit Lounge
145 East Houston (btwn Forsyth and Eldridge)
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Portrait of Nicole Boitos