One of the coolest things about Society6 is that so many members of our community are not only making waves online, but in the IRL art world as well. Currently we are so stoked for our resident curator Nathan Spoor who organized and is participating in a month-long exhibit for Spoke Art in San Francisco. "Suggestivism: Resonance" highlights the work of over 40 artists (including fourteen S6 artists!) who each have an incredibly unique vision and mind-bending technical skill. Here, Nathan gives us some insight into this exciting project.
Can you tell us how you initially got into painting?
I've been into art ever since I can remember; it's a full time thought, a full time pursuit. I was introduced to painting, however, in a 2D design class where the professor assigned each student three colors and a random phrase. We were supposed to create an image based on the phrase and I was kind-of terrified since I'd never painted before. (But, I mean this was college, so I'd definitely failed miserably at making a color wheel at some point.) This, however, was totally different. Once I got involved with the materials I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to solve this weird puzzle. I was pretty much hooked!
Where did the idea of Suggestivism come from?
Suggestivism is more of an approach or a conceptual mindset than a real, quantifiable thing. I started using the term, or calling my work "Suggestivism" during grad school. I needed a way to separate myself from my first love of Surrealism, which was my biggest influence up to that moment. I felt that my work had been influenced, and that I was keeping an open mind while I created, even up to the moment when I had to describe what I was doing in critiques. So "suggestivism" was born.
Years later while working on some shows, I found out that an art historian named Sadakichi Hartmann had actually coined the term "Suggestivism" in the late 1800's. I was blown away! I mean, not only did I not come up with the term, but found out that I belonged to a really great lineage of art history. I was helping to further the growth of something substantial.
What's the trickiest part of curating an art exhibition?
Artists being busy! But really, the artists I work with are often in high demand, so we have to start planning a year or two out just to see if it fits in everyone's calendar. Another big challenge is finding a good collaborator or space to work with. Once you have a concept like this that shows a certain slice of the creative class, you have to align with like-minded visionary hosts and promoters of that specific sort of work. I've been pretty fortunate to have pitched a selection of art shows, and Suggestivism has been the concept that most spaces respond to.
What's the most exciting thing about a show like this?
I'm pretty excited about every step. It's such a long process that you have to really love doing it to incorporate this much effort into curating and communicating and trying to understand so many aspects of community and creativity. I guess the real treasure is that these shows are even happening. And the live experience of being a part of an art exhibit is really thrilling.
What are your hopes for future exhibitions?
Future exhibitions are constantly in discussion, and the exciting thing for me is that they can keep happening. The gallery shows are super exciting and definitely helps really show the pulse of what's really "now". And my hope is to pull off another major museum exhibit with a companion book. Doing one of those every few years really helps show the growth and quality of the artists involved.
Society6 Artists Featured
"Suggestivism: Resonance" runs from September 1 through September 24th at Spoke Art in San Francisco. Check it out! And if you're participating in an exhibition, we want to hear about it. Comment below to give us the 411.
Shop Nathan's work here: