Nate Plotkin

Breaking Idols

April 28 – June 2, 2019


Breaking Idols is a vibrant exploration of the joys, hardships and beautiful mystery of life in our current times. Nate Plotkin takes a deep dive into the multitude of issues surrounding us all: Am I brave enough to protect those I love? How do I make sense of what is magic and unexplainable in life? Can love survive when the world around us seems to fall apart? Do I make my own destiny?

Nate Plotkin, and his wife Johanna, are the primary protagonists exploring these questions in his new series of paintings. While the personal resemblance is sometimes clear, the couple most often morphs into a symbolic HE and SHE. They appear in different forms and at different points in life, but in all of the works Nate is portraying his love for his wife, and also for life itself.

The settings surrounding Plotkin’s characters vacillate between cartoon and sinister, but there is always a hero in the midst to find a way out of the dark. His figures often appear static and locked in time; they are bound to the backdrops they inhabit. Even when motion is implied and action is inherent to a composition, there is a suspension of movement and activity, almost as if the image is in the process of deciding what happens next.

These paintings are earnest and intuitive in equal measure. Plotkin generally starts by directly putting paint to canvas without a preliminary sketch. His images come to life as he works, and they explore the abstract thoughts and worlds not always visible to us. The scenes Plotkin summons jump back and forth between stable and nebulous, equally as likely to devour the hero as they are to propel them forward.

Nate Plotkin (b. 1986, Longmeadow, CT) has been drawing since childhood and cites his earliest influence to be his uncle’s cartoons and making art alongside his mother and father. Plotkin spent two years studying at the Maine College of Art before leaving the program to pursue a more personalized art education. Breaking Idols is Nate Plotkin’s second solo exhibition with SHRINE.