Artist: Nathaniel Paderanga
Media: Oil paint on Canvas
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Nathaniel Paderanga is in his senior year at California State University, Long Beach. Nathaniel is in the BFA drawing and painting program after changing from a Chemistry major at a junior College in SanDiego. He is an artist that has been practicing oil painting since he was 18 years old and someone that I believe has a lot to say and show the world. Although he works in other mediums, he finds oil painting to be his main focus.
The paintings displayed in his exhibit photos, he took and executed on canvas with a contemporary style and influenced by the old masters. The high contrasts of shadows and highlights in the paintings bring out small details which would otherwise be lost. His painting technique is borrowed from those masters which he admires, such as Caravaggio. The heavy paint adds texture and yet a softness to his pieces that make them pleasing to the eye.
Nathaniel’s paintings for this exhibit were all based off of ideas and concepts that he found were important to him. After losing his mother September 30th of last year, his perspective on life changed. The topics of each painting are things that affected him in the past year- social issues, homelessness, mourning a loss, and new beginnings.
This exhibition really spoke to me and really made me feel the issues he was bringing up. It was tragic that Nathaniel lost his mother, but I thought it was also a beautiful way to memorialize her and her funeral in the exhibition. He was able to achieve what I believe every artist wants to- having the audience feel the emotions that they are. I felt an emotion in every painting in that show. I really connected with his story and purpose and believe that his skills will only grow with time.