Nathaniel Cas Ancheta. ‘Portraits of Color’

1st Floor Gallery at the Art Institute of CA-Hollywood

03 October – 12 December 2016

Curator’s Statement

Portraits of Color presents a straightforward spectrum of color that, upon closer inspection, reveals contradictions and ironies. The use of the word “portrait” in the title suggests a likeness that should be apparent and obvious, and yet the text points to some unrevealed percept. Perhaps, then, the word “portrait” refers merely to the orientation of the works.

The work addresses the power of language to obfuscate as it elucidates. The work presents an inventory of tools for design – an orientation, sets of words and fonts, paper, and color. The loose-hanging of the work calls attention to the wall, and allows the paper to be itself an object and not only a substrate. The works hangs low on the wall, from roughly eye-level to just above the floor. There is a clear and highly formalized use of figure/ground relationship – a single, left-justified column of text set on a solid color. Yet, as one reads down the list of what “It” is, one is not admitted into any higher insight. By intentionally creating vagaries, the work short-circuits expectations of a deeper meaning and is in this way intentionally superficial. And yet, this surface provides a breath from deeper considerations on our relationship of things to the words used to describe them – in how we revel as much in the description of a thing as we do in the thing itself.

About the Artist

Nathaniel Cas Ancheta (American, b 1987) Lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He earned his BFA from Dominican University of California in 2009 and is currently an MFA candidate at Art Center College of Design. His work has been included in the exhibition Seeley Art Walk at Seeley Studios, Glendale, CA (2012); Can’t we all just get along at Lasaruss Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Kala Annual Exhibition at Kala Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA (2011); NCUR (National Conference of Undergraduate Research) Exhibition at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI (2009). He also is the founder of Art Memo Magazine and Rethunk Design Group.