"We Ain't Goin' Nowhere" painting series
Edie Nadelhaft's paintings focus on the visual nuances and psychological ambiguity of twilight. Nadelhaft states, “There is a dreamy, magical and off-times haunted quality to this work that showcases otherwise unremarkable, pedestrian and distinctly American settings.” Nadelhaft draws inspiration from artists, writers and filmmakers whose work explores the subtler (and often stranger) corners of the American experience, including David Lynch, Diane Arbus, Donna Tartt, and Walker Evans, whose 1974 comment about his own process sums it up nicely: “I lean toward the enchantment, the visual power of the aesthetically rejected subject.”
An avid motorcyclist, Nadelhaft takes annual weeks-long tours of the country’s lesser-known and less spectacular outposts collecting sketches, photos and memories that form the basis for paintings of settings that hover between the built world and the natural landscape. No people are pictured, but each composition preserves some residue of the human presence, depicting desolate stretches of rural highway, some capped by an apocalyptic canopy of clouds.
Rendered in a manner best described as Perceptual Realism, Nadelhaft's paintings take the viewer into the scene, showing just as much - or as little - sharp detail as a human eye can process in person. The point of view and style of painting takes into account the fleeting nature of impressions, especially those formed while driving in low light on unfamiliar roads.
In some scenes, light is greatly diminished, but it is not quite dark enough to reap the full benefit of headlights. Buildings, trees and power lines appear and disappear in a murky, shimmering haze; nighttime is fluid, rife with intrigue and for some, even dread. But the dark can also provide a portal to the imagination, opening up new possibilities and potential. And for the artist, it brings an overwhelming sense of wonder and relief. The night - especially traveling at night - offers protection, a respite, like a spell that conjures a brief suspension of responsibility and time as one hurtles through space fully enveloped in the totality of that experience.
"Luv is the Drug" glass pill sculptures
"Luv is the Drug" is Edie Nadelhaft’s newest installation from her "Better Living Thru Chemistry" glass sculpture series. The piece was conceived as a counteraction to all of the sadness and strife that has engulfed the world over the past few years. For this work, Nadelhaft designed a custom sans serif font that incorporates stylized shapes and soft edges to produce an updated flower power vibe, and the components are arranged in a subtle heart-shaped configuration. With a nod to the 1960’s designer Mary Quant and a wink at contemporary culture’s dual obsessions with pharmaceuticals and short messaging systems, "Luv is the Drug" bursts with color and unbridled joy. The texts evoke kindness, wonder and real-world gestures of affection. The exception (WTF) is, in this instance intended to be pronounced with an uplifted “why not?” tone, rather than the exasperation or outrage that it has traditionally been used to express. The central piece, "Love Wins," topped with the rainbow colors of Pride, is a hopeful mantra for the days ahead.