February 15 - March 11, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, February 16th, 6 to 8 pm
An autonomous hand is key to the works in Mystery Channels, Nate Plotkin’s first-ever solo exhibition. The act of “channelling” would imply Plotkin has access to a world most of us do not, whether manifested by the psyche or phantasmagoria. A more obvious read would be that Plotkin’s work is a channel as it pertains to television or radio, and that each work is uniquely tuned to inform the viewer of a conjured realm where abstraction, fantasy and traditional figuration coexist.
The blurry edges of Nate Plotkin’s subconscious become focused in his unique paintings and drawings– Surreal landscapes, abstract motifs, highly stylized figures and objects on the brink of being familiar inhabit his worlds. Implications of magic are neither dismissed nor didactic according to Plotkin, but in many of the paintings there seems to be a recurring hero/sorcerer, often caught in an idle moment, who acts as a steppingstone to a narrative that remains elusive but necessary. Are these characters pawns seeking answers to ancient questions, distortions of the world around us or simply abstract participants in stories that are only partially told? In the absence of occult or otherworldly devices, a strangeness still pervades Plotkin’s work and is quietly woven into our perception of what at first appear to be everyday scenes.
Nate Plotkin (b. 1986) has been drawing since childhood and cites his earliest influences to be his uncle’s cartoon drawings and making art alongside his mother and father. In his early twenties, Plotkin spent two years studying at the Maine College of Art before deciding to leave the program in pursuit of a more personalized art education. From 2014 to 2015, he undertook a year-long mentorship with an artist named Zurab, which he credits as the foundation for his artistic development. Plotkin creates work from start to finish automatically without the use of source material or preliminary sketches, instead allowing for images and narratives to reveal themselves as he begins a new piece. Nate Plotkin works from his apartment in Brooklyn where he resides with his wife.