We took down The Smithy show on Sunday. It was a spectacular month. Nate sold six pieces, got solid local press and the feedback on the show was phenomenal. Recently we heard two great stories.
Students in a folk art class were sent to review Nate’s show. I heard they were bowled over, detecting patterns in his work that their teacher hadn’t noticed. They also did a little research into artists like Nate, autistic or related, and found that architecture is a common theme. It must be the structure and predictability of buildings that grabs their attention. For Nate that’s certainly a part of the attraction, the repetitive and comforting sameness of malls. For sure he brings out their differences and unique beauty, but the uniformity is undeniable.
The other reaction came from a former area gallery owner who, I’ve been informed, has a national reputation. Here’s the conversation, as related to me by my neighbor, who was on the other side of it.
“I was just at The Smithy with the head of a museum and, on the third floor, was this incredible show.”
“You mean Nate’s stuff?”
“You know the artist?”
“It’s Nate Katz. He’s my neighbor.”
“Jeff’s son?” The former gallery owner knows me a little.
“The work is incredible. I’d love to represent him.”
So maybe that’s the next step, that someone in the art world grabs ahold of Nate and pulls him to the next level. I recently sent out emails about Nate to outsider art galleries in New York and Chicago. I’d love to get him back to Illinois, a triumphant hero returning to the area he loves so much. It’s possible.