The sun went down and the crowd
I was left by the roadside all alone
I turned to speak as they went by
But this was the time of no reply.
Nick Drake, "Time of No Reply", 1968
“I consider myself a painter not an artist”. As it happens, Natalie is telling me more about her work during the pauses of our interview than during it. She is present, terse and to the point. Or she is silent and cheerful, meaning that she does not agree but the subject is not important enough for her to tell you; or that she is not interested and she is kind enough to show you politely. It is most quite clear.
One of the features that along the years have struck me about her and her work is conciseness, the gift and the doom of always being present, to experience things as they happen; a feature that can give you alternatively great pleasures and great sufferings, depending on your sense of humor and on chanche. Exactly as the paintings we are looking at. A series of earthlings casually (and poingnantly) caught one day or another in our cities’ financial and shopping districts around the globe. Daily lives as the are given today, as they are synthesizes by Natalie in her act of painting; looking and painting once again firmly related to knowing.Her eyes are restless, her hands too. She prefers doing than talking about what she has done or will do. (Always let the past rest in peace and leave the future to chaos).
I ask myself whether this is linked to the reasons that in her teens lead Natalie to read economics and if this is partly the result of her master degree in a subject that at its core has relationship and exchanges; brought down to our scale: complex chemical reactions that do work or do not. Humans whose energy and paths cross or merge or do not at any given level: magical, personal, symbolic or social.
“From an emotional and psychological point of view this work deals with the lack of love I witness in this precise moment. With the fact everybody’s attention is drawn from money and that for one shop that closes down a bank opens its doors. With the fact that there are no truly romantic themes in movies or elsewhere and that to express love we have to resort to science fiction or cartoons”.
Men and women whose energy draws line and reverberates colors, a cosmogony of cities and humanity, a critical point where cromophobia concentrate and implode. Images you want to be left alone with. Time of no reply.
London, February 2007
by Arrangement of the Royal Academy of Arts
Curated by Julian Lonergan
Miami, February 2007