Nathaniel Galka’s work is first and foremost an homage to art history. The painter has studied the cultural aesthetics of a myriad of centuries and countries, and works to incorporate their aesthetics in each new piece.
Most recently Galka has taken influence from 12th- and 13th- century Asian artists, as well as 17th-century Japanese sum paintings. The result is a collection of oil paintings inspired by culture and nature, that feel like historical works.
“let grow a grassy heaven…” 2018.
“at my every rest… beauty is evermore…” 2019.
Galka has even instilled his love for art history in the production of his work.
To start, he prepares his surfaces with a marble plaster, gesso. It is applied to wood panels or on linen jute wrapped panels by using a trowel. He paints in oil or spray enamel, and often utilizes a pen dipped in shellac India ink to reference woodblock printing. The final painting is then varnished with two coats of dammar varnish and three coats of hand polished bleached wax to finish the surface.
“dancing in the dappled light…” 2019.
In focusing so frequently on nature, Galka hopes to draw attention to the importance of conservation and the preservation of the environment.
“My work… is recently about the environment and the displacement of plants and animals for the vanity of humans,” Galka says. “My focus now is about how we are placing non-indigenous plants in locations and disrupting nature. I highlight our need for conservation of domestic flora and fauna through historical and aesthetic references in my paintings and photography.”
View the full collection of Galka’s latest work here.
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