New Works by Nathan OroscoMay 4th - 26th, 2012
First Friday, May 4th
6pm – 12am
with music by
Out of the Odessa heat Nathan arrived in the Pacific Northwest.
Driving a Ford Pickup, spending time at the Lab, burning up a piano, sharpening thorns and pouring stems,
Orosco puts his hands in the mix.
He talks of Foundries going Cold, the Process of Doing, Long Hours and Dedication.
His work can be looked at as examples of metamorphosis, scientific process and movement.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
“As a landscape, as a journey, as an identity, West Texas is a long way from the Pacific Northwest. When I first met Nathan Orosco, that cut across the territory was raw and recent, and it showed in his work. It was angry. It was concrete, rebar and grainy video: materials shaped into metaphors for displacement and migration. Anxiety. Pollution. Maybe a little yearning.
Nathan Orosco was born and raised in Odessa, Texas. He is third-generation Mexican-American, tap-rooted to the hardpan and the greasy stink of pump jacks and tank farms. Growing up, he worked in his father’s repair shop, a laborer who fixed and painted the big rigs that service the oil fields. To be a laborer is to perform the most minor of alchemies. An oilman might accomplish the modern equivalent of turning lead to gold, but all a laborer manages is to turn sweat and strain into an overhauled truck engine, or a welded section of pipe, or a trench cut cleanly into red caliche clay.
Nathan is still a laborer. He is still an alchemist. The perfectly flat horizon of the Permian Basin has been replaced by a wrinkled and river-laced topography. His walk to the studio is lined with cedar and rhododendrons, rather than limestone and concrete block.
In his earlier work, materials were substitutions. Similes and ciphers. A red mound of West Texas earth, equivalent to the weight of Nathan’s body, was shaped by his labor to its new place. The flat floor of the gallery became the flat horizon of the Permian landscape.
In this new work, materials are a means of transformation, as in a phosphorescent substance, storing energy in one form and re-emitting it later, visible and illuminating.
Bronze and glass unify disparate elements, forming a whole radically different from their constituent parts. Nathan remakes organic materials and ephemeral phenomena to last a million years.”
- David Drake
My work is a response to my landscape, culture and social political anxieties. There are forms in my work that are directly related to the landscapes I’ve lived in. It contains the nostalgia of where I was raised, the home/memory, and the foreign identity/culture of my present place. Considering a landscape is not always my intentional format during the beginning stages of making, but something that is always an influence. The influence of form can be urban, rural, desolate, lush, or may appear representational/obvious, like the flat land of the southwest landscape with its never-ending horizontal line, or the more industrial forms and lines of factories that disrupt the plane, or the collapsing bricks of the neighborhood alley. The choice of the materials is relative with the subject matter. This provides a connection between my making process and the metaphors that are contained in the work. Phosphorescent is a reaction to the exposures of my current outer world and the ways in which it has influenced my subconscious thought. It is an attempt, through the processes of sculpture, to deal with the most basic of human emotions; anxiety, comfort, pain, danger, demise, love and identity. While making this work, I have continuously thought about the aspect of coping and its relationship to the process of making.
click thumbnail for a full-size view.