N A T H A N R Y A N V E R W E Y
NATHAN Verwey’s art
welcomes viewers into a
delightful fever dream of
color. His masterful eye
for composition creates a
world that could descend into chaos but
instead is elegant and graceful.
His work is centered on the concept of
kinetic energy, and his energy is nothing
short of electric.
“No matter what you are creating, you
are working with potential energy, kinetic
energy,” Verwey says. “You are taking your
energy and storing it in something else,
and the viewer completes the circuit. That’s
why people are drawn to certain artists;
their energies just connect.”
Verwey experimented with several forms
of art on his path to painting. He moved
to Wilmington to act, spent some time
writing, and focused on sculpture at the
University of North Carolina Wilmington
before leaning into street art. It’s that
eclectic blend of styles that helps make his
work both incredibly raw and scrupulously refined.
“It’s a natural progression of life,” he says. “If you are thirsty for
knowledge then life is going to change you and move you.”
His paintings are like a wormhole through time colliding
the past and present in an explosion of color. A close look
reveals elements of ancient tribal aesthetics, byzantine iconogra-phy,
On a Noisy Afternoon, 24 x 18 inches, mixed media on paper.
classical portraiture, and graffiti art of the ’80s and ’90s.
“I’m in love with art history, so I try to mix different genres to
blend this giant tapestry of the art timeline,” he says.
One of Verwey’s favorite sections of this timeline is the classic
Hollywood era. Many of his paintings feature the faces of stars
like Lauren Bacall or James Dean.
“I’m obsessed with the Golden Age of Hollywood and the way
the men and women looked at that time,” he says. “They just
don’t make them like that anymore.”
As a street artist, Verwey’s work can be found on canvases
and on murals about town, which is an important part of his
vocation as an artist.
“Street art showcases the interconnection between the man-made,
nature, and the everyday hustle and bustle,” Verwey writes
on his website. “You not only beautify your cities, but you enrich
the lives of the people who live in them … you contribute to
the energy spectrum that courses through the veins of existence
and here, energy is king.”
WBM october 2020