Nathan Eastwood was born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria in 1972. He studied fine Art at Kent Institute of Art & Design 2001-05 and then did his MA at Byam Shaw School of Art from 2008-09.
It was during Eastwood’s Masters Degree that he reached a conceptual point, where the artist felt that the correct procedure in his development was to empty out his art practice off all existing references to the real world. This marked a time of purging and reducing his paintings to a minimal monochromatic object. The painted monochromatic object and its relationship to the exhibition space became his focus. The use of measurements bridged the gap between painted object and exhibition space. In 2011, Eastwood turned from this monochromatic installation, based work and dedicated himself to depicting banal moments of day to day life in meticulous detail; extensively glossy black and white enamel paintings for which he is well-known.
Eastwood’s breakthrough showing of his painting ‘Nico’s café’ won him the East London Painting prize (as the inaugural winner). As part of the award he went on to enjoy having his first major solo exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery in 2014 and was awarded a generous financial sum of money. In this supportive moment he created a new body of work shown for the first time at the gallery. As part of the exhibition Eastwood had an In-Conversation with the writer, publisher and curator Matt Price (Anomie publishers). The dialogue opened-up the exhibition premise and ideas behind the paintings.
Painted on primed gesso board, his work has its origin in snapshot photographs taken of his environment both domestically and out and about that started in started in 2011 with a small painting of his staircase ‘Nook’ at home; since then he has produced dozens of paintings with the same loaded melancholic atmosphere; such as Dave 2013, Passing By 2014 to Rock & Roll 2015 and Two’s Company Three’s A Crowd, 2017.
Ultimately, his intentions are to make a contemporary ‘Kitchen Sink’ painting; one which has its roots in photo-real painting and located within the objective language of social realism. The artist has coined the term - ‘Kitchen Sink Realism as creative repetition’.
Eastwood subject matter deals with very pertinent issues such as breadline Britain, austerity, the welfare state, and everyday existence.
“These obsessive, 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.” My England
The Artist painting practice refers to these social observations, - yet has subtexts of the UK’s Punk history: think of the Specials ‘Blank Expression’, or Sham 69 ‘I Don’t Wanna’.
“A new form of politics is emerging, and in ways we haven’t yet noticed. The living room has become a voting booth. Participation via television in Freedom Marches, in war, revolution, pollution, and other events is changing everything.” Jerome Agel