Monday, March 04, 2013


Artist Statement


4' x 6'

Acrylic and Mixed Media

Refracting outsider tendencies, championing the unseen and magnifying the mundane, CRIBBAGE:2900pnt is an extreme invention. It is a work that tends to read at several distances, both physically and psychologically as one retreats or approaches its formidable body. Close up, taken in sections, one could perceive just a standard homemade cribbage board: ugly in application, rough-hewn with garage-born drills. But as one steps back, the play of the lines and colors start to represent other ideas. Aerial images, circuit boards, figures and faces that writhe and shift like dune sands against a background of spring green all coalesce the farther back you pull. The viewer's orientation also matters and, much like a modern map on the internet, change the angle of the plane, change your association and your perspective on how it is used changes. Hanging flat against the wall the piece will never read in it's “game-board” mode as well as laying flat against the table top where the details are collapsed in dramatic ground-level foreshortening.


I have wanted to make this work, and others like it for some time. Games fascinate me. I was interested in the monumental stature of such a big item as well as exalting such a mundane object. The humor of trying to actually play cribbage on such a board, as the players are dwarfed, the board hard to move around, that the game itself inordinately extended to 24 regular games is hilarious to me. That said, it is a playable object, it does function. Its function duels between entertainment and meaningful exploration, a common occurrence in marketplace and in the appallingly vapid capitulation of logic-silhouettes that are these days masquerading for spiritual marvels. Both are in some level obligated to breed conceit, revelations, and are prefabricated to spit out, in what is essentially a wall painting, the richest and alive parts of our game-making human minds.


Nate Marcel


This piece will be up until the end of March 2013

At Blackfish Gallery in Portland Oregon