Artist: Nathaniel Paderanga
Media: Oil Paints
Gallery: CSULB School Of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artist:
Nathaniel Paderanga is currently a senior undergraduate student a CalState Long Beach and is working towards his BFA from the School of Art’s drawing and painting program. After graduating this fall semester, he plans to focus on his painting. At first, Paderanga was not an art major when he first started his academic career at CSULB; instead he was a kinesiology major his first year. He ended up hating it and decided to switch to art and grew into it, using it as a platform to tell a story. Paderanga started painting when he was 18 years old and bases his paintings off everyday life photos he takes himself.
Stepping into Nathaniel Paderanga’s exhibition was like walking into a multitude of story books. Each oil painting was skillfully done and told a story of its own despite it’s showing of common everyday activity. The aim of his exhibition is to bring social issues into the light and to bring focus to hidden problems in situations that are seen as normal. His exhibition included Happy Birthday which depicted a small birthday gathering with a group of people and simple balloons in what looks to be a park. While the depiction is of a simple and commonly seen as mundane event, Paderanga was able to visually tell a story and capture the essence of the activity.
Upon meeting Paderanga, I noticed how easy it was to talk to him and how effortlessly he was able to communicate his ideas with others. His skill in communication can be seen in his painting as well. While they are paintings of everyday life photos, Paderanga is able to infuse his ability to effortlessly communicate and express through his paintings as each and every one of them tell a different story of their own. All of the paintings in Paderanga’s show were all of photos that held a deeper meaning. In his painting Get Together, it depicts two boys relaxing together in a living room, focusing on what the younger generation usually focuses on: technology. While this may seem ordinary, an underlying problem is brought to the light through the painting. Instead of spending quality time together, both boys are focused similarity on a fancy piece of metal.
The exhibition really opened my eyes to see more in everyday life. While things may seem normal and acceptable because it’s a habitual occurrence in everyday society, it doesn’t mean that it’s really is acceptable. Sometimes life moves so fast that one cannot read into what is before them to see any hidden problems. Paderanga was able to capture simple everyday life photos and bring out hidden and normally overlooked situations–it was like through the painting he paused time and allowed the viewers to examine and see the problems that we normally speed past by and don’t see.