Nathan Eastwood was born in Barrow-in-Furness in September 1972. He studied Fine Art at Kent Institute of Art and Design from 2001-05 and then, did his Masters Degree in Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art from 2008-09. It was during Eastwood’s MA that he believed that the correct procedure for his development was to empty out his existing art practice off all references to the real world and reduce his paintings to painted monochromatic object. The logic of grids, measurements and the monochromatic painted object and its symbiotic relationship between the gallery space was his priority. The use of measurements as a tool bridged the gap between, the painted work and installation space.
After spending time in reflection, Eastwood concluded that the art works became too heavily dependent on the exhibition space (as an installation); these works could not function without being thought about in relation to the architecture of the space. A dilemma surfaced for the artist and questions about the future of his painting procedure surfaced.
What kind of painter did Eastwood want to be; an abstract, minimalist or realist artist? This critical question provided his art practice with a new starting point. Eastwood moved away from this minimalist painting form and dedicated himself to producing a social derived realist painting with a meticulous application of enamel paint on board which started in 2011, with a small painting titled Nook; a painted motif where the artist is sitting at the bottom of his stairs at home. Since then he has produced dozens of paintings with the same loaded melancholic atmosphere for which he is well-known; such as Dave 2013, Passing By 2014 to Rock & Roll 2015. Eastwood’s art collides the language of social realism with the reductionist/photo-real schema. Eastwood has stated that his “Ultimately, intentions are to make a contemporary ‘Kitchen Sink’ painting; one which has its roots in photo-real painting; and within the objective language social realism.”
Eastwood’s breakthrough showing of a moderate sized painting ‘Nico’s Cafe’ exhibited in the East London Painting Prize 2014 won him (Inaugural winner) the main cash prize and a solo exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery. The winning painting went on to be owned by the Goldhill family. He went on to enjoy a solo exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery and within this supportive environment he created a new body of work, which displayed new painted motifs and new possibilities for future development.
These painted motifs are recognizable everyday scenes, the commonplace existence and ordinary experiences—two men reflecting on general matters, washing machine being loaded up or young youth, entering a building, cleaning the bathroom to mulling thoughts over a cup of tea. Although they operate within the conceptual framework of photo-realism, the works reveal loose brush marks and surface imperfections such as trapped dust and hair under a seemingly shiny surface. In this way the paintings are simply this; realist rather than strictly Photo-Realistic.