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Learn about Paul Nathan in this Lynn Item interview
“The art is pure whimsy,“. I started painting about 35 years ago, then it just ended. I wanted to paint, but nothing happened,” said Nathan. “Maybe it was my job. Maybe life got in the way. Maybe it’s the fact that painting is messy and tedious. Paint would get on my shoes, on the carpet. I got away from it all.
Then out of the blue, about six years ago, the creative urge struck again. He focused on textured collages; vibrantly colorful and fantastical images of marine life, space travel, boat travel and more. A couple of comical self portraits, one of him dressed as a 1905 cossack, another of the artist at home, an acrylic-on-wood work that shows him reading The Item at his breakfast table, his eyeglasses askew atop his bald head. It’s impossible not to smile when looking at these works.
“I don’t know where this (stuff) comes from,” added Nathan, staring at the ginormous cruise ship collage. “Bigger means more work, and work gives me the hives. Let’s face it, I’m lazy.” Nathan is not averse to plagiarising himself either; some of the smaller images appear in more than one work. Making copies of the same bits is part of the deal, he said. “Why paint them over and over again when they’re perfectly fine as they are.”