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About the Artist

Using the patina process on bronze plates as his canvas, Nathan Bennett mines new veins in painting. His landscapes have a surreal quality, a sense of otherness, which is partly due to his unusual medium. Taking the chemicals normally used to finish bronze sculptures — the oxides, nitrates and acids — Bennett instead wields them as he would paint on an eighth-inch-thick sheet of silica bronze that becomes his canvas.The work itself is stark, haunting almost, in its barrenness. His landscapes startle. Without relying too much on the materials themselves for effect, Bennett realizes nature in cold hard metal, light in acidity and a kind of esthetic spirituality born of poetic austerity. ”I feel that in order to fully understand my art, knowing a bit of its history is important.  Alchemy started in the first century A.D.   As time passed, the predominant goal of alchemists was to transmute basic metals into gold.  This was done in great secrecy.   Finding such a thing would bring unimaginable wealth and power.   When religion started to play a part in Alchemy, it took on a spiritual journey.  Heaven and eternal life became the goal.  All of these endeavors now play a big role in many facets of life as we know it.  Alchemists used their intimate knowledge of metals to adorn sculpture with what is now referred to as a patina, and the patineur was born.  During the centuries that followed, patinas stayed very basic; copper, sulfur, and ferric were applied using fire. In 1989, I made a clear and calculated decision to turn the art of patina back into alchemy.  Soon after, my hot process patina paintings took their first breath.  In the true spirit of alchemy, and with basic metals, I sought not for wealth, transmuting the metals into gold, but to manipulate them into a one of a kind work of art.  Using fire and metal, my spirituality was visualized, connecting me to heaven and God.  Through hot process patina painting, I feel that I have found my eternal elixir.  In a way, I will live forever through my art. “