Nathan Eastwood


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 and re-begin at zero point. The logic of grids, measurements and the monochromatic painted object and its symbiotic relationship between the gallery was his priority. The use of measurements bridged this gap between; painted work and installation space.


Eastwood turned from this art form to dedicating himself to producing a meticulous application of enamel paint on board which started in 2011 with a small painting titled Nook; a painted motif where I am sitting at the bottom of my stairs at home; or the painting ‘Room at the Top’.  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 minimal/photo-real schema. Eastwood often refers to Georg Lukacs for his conceptual endorsement which underpins his aesthetic context.  “The inner truth of the works of the great realists rests on the fact that they arise from life itself, that their artistic characteristics are reflections of the social structures of the life lived by the artist himself” Lukacs


His breakthrough showing of a moderate sized painting ‘Nicos 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 Goldhill family. He went on to enjoy a solo exhibition at the Nunnery 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. The subjects imply a narrative that could be a cutaway shot in from a kitchen sink drama or a visualization of some sort of narrative plot unfolding in an Allan Bennett or Robert Tressell novel; with nods towards Mass Observation and has subtexts of the UK’s Punk history: think of the Specials ‘Blank Expression’, or Sham 69 ‘I Don’t Wanna’.


The intensely atmospheric and melancholic paintings operate within the conceptual framework of photo-realism, yet 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 fictional rather than strictly photo-realistic.