Artist: Nathaniel Paderanga
Exhibition: Get together .
Media: Oil on Canvis
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery.
Website: None at this time.
About the Artist
Nathaniel Paderanga is an Undergraduate student at CSULB, in the School of Arts Drawing and Painting program. Nathaniel likes to paint a lot. Outside of that, he enjoys playing basketball and working out.
Get together is an oil painting on canvas, measuring 30 inches tall by 40 inches wide. It depicts two boys sitting in gray leather recliner chairs watching TV, both on their mobile devices (the boy on the right is Nathaniel himself, while the boy on the left is his cousin).
In front of the boys is a red and blue checkered carpet, with a logo on the red tiles made up of a C and an A (I personally do not recognize the logo, nor can I research it well enough on the Internet to identify it). On the carpet is a dog lying down next to a ball. To the right of the boys is another couch with a coffee table with various things on it and a chair in front of it. Behind the boys is a white wall with four or five tall cut-outs. Because I do not know the layout of the house, I cannot determine if these cut-outs are windows, doors, or decoration for a wall unit. There are things visible in the cut-outs’ areas. If they are windows, these things may be from the backyard or reflections of the interior; if they are truly cut-outs, they may be things in that section of the house.
The boys’ bodies, the chairs, and the wall immediately behind them are aglow from the TV. The boys’ faces are even more illuminated due to them being on their mobile devices. Shadow lines are visible on their limbs and clothes, giving them more depth. The couch and coffee table to the right are in the shadows. If the cut-outs mentioned above are windows, the light from the TV may be reflecting the interior of the house (the chair on the right seems to be visible in the far-right cut-out).
According to the Artist Statement posted in the gallery, his works’ intention, “is to bring forward the narrative of social issues and highlight the underlying conflicts in situations that are often deemed ordinary.” Nathaniel told me that he wanted to show the irony of two people hanging out together yet always on their phones instead of conversing and spending time with one another, hence Get together.
All of Nathaniel’s pieces are paintings of photographs he took.
Nathaniel also dedicated his gallery (as well as one of his paintings) to his mother, Karen, who passed away September 2015.
The main thing I like about Get together is the lighting. I am no artist, but I know that lighting is difficult to do. Nathaniel really did a great job on the lighting on their bodies, especially their faces which are illuminated even more due to their mobile devices. I also like Get together as a whole, too. I find the irony of getting together with someone only to be on one’s phone interesting, and I think Nathaniel did a good job at capturing what it often looks like. Everyone, including myself, has been in a situation similar to the piece’s: dark room lit only by the TV and phones/tablets. Seeing this situation for myself gives me sort of a suffocating feeling–I do not know why. To me, I imagine the scene in the painting to be on a very hot night, with nothing to do but watch TV to get one’s mind off of the heat. Seeing their arms, legs, and faces with sharp shadow lines from the TV’s light gives the sense that it is very late at night, adding to my suffocating feeling. I feel a tiredness one feels after a long night of not really doing anything. The tiredness when one is tired but cannot sleep.