Nathaniel J Moody
The portrait and figurative imagery have been common threads in my work during all the years I have been making art. While I have strayed into abstraction in the past, and attempted to perhaps make work that was more 'relevant' within the context of current art trends, this work is firmly rooted in the human form, and the emotional response we have in relating to it. With the Fighters Series, I am looking to illicit a visceral, instinctual response. In choosing images of fighters post-fight, I’m attempting to convey the emotional complexity of that moment, which is written all over the subject’s face.
There is a dreamlike quality to that moment, as well. When a fighter is hyper focused on his opponent in a potentially life or death battle, all other things fade away. The sound of the crowd, the awareness of the space outside of the ring, your cornerman shouting direction...these distractions get fuzzy...and this feeling can last for some time after a fight, exacerbated by the physical damage the fighter takes. I was attempting to evoke this dreamlike quality in choosing watercolor as a medium. I am interested in the dichotomy of delicacy and brutality that can exist intertwined during certain life-affirming events. When becoming hyper focused, we can often access a flow state, or Divine state, where space and time dematerialize and soften around us. Like being in the eye of a storm, the maelstrom outside the boundaries of our inner sanctuary cannot touch us. And yet, our physical bodies remain firmly rooted to this plane of existence, taking on the full impact of the damage being dealt.
Nathaniel J Moody is primarily a figurative painter working in both oil and watercolor, typically on a large scale. His work is often autobiographical in nature, drawing directly from personal experience while evoking a sense of magical realism, and is a reflection of his travels, dreams, and family life.
Nathaniel was born in Lancaster, NH in 1977. He holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center (2015) and New City Galerie (2013). He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Tanzania 2000-2003), and a father of two boys. A former amateur boxer, he participated in two Golden Gloves competitions in Vermont and Massachusetts. Nathaniel lives off-grid in a yurt surrounded by blackberry bushes on a dairy farm with his wife, Naomi, and youngest son, Jack.