Mike Nudelman

website: www.mikenudelman.com
instagram: @mikenudelman

About the artist.
Traditionally, landscape paintings have been viewed as windows overlooking sublime and  magical worlds. However, through a modern lens it’s clear that the object’s surface is more  active than a mere pane of glass between viewer and vista. It is a screen that simultaneously  conceals and contains the world within.     It is in this spirit that I make my landscape drawings with ballpoint pen on paper. The size of  small hairs with the occasional inky misfire, methodically layered and iridescent pen strokes  blend to forge a lush and dynamic surface. These fragile works on paper are experiments in  inverting the illusion of traditional landscape paintings, as the velvety and rich drawn surface  presents the viewer with both a conundrum and compromise. If the physicality of the object is  undeniably real, then the image must be a fantasy. The drawings aren’t reproductions of sights  seen, but are unique worlds of their own.

installation view: Thomas Robertello Gallery

installation view: Thomas Robertello Gallery

Who or what are your artistic influences and how have they impacted you or your work?
I love the imposing and sublime Hudson River School paintings, especially those of Frederic  Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt, who traveled America and the world making sketches and  studies, then returned to their studios to mash them together into pictures better than the real  thing. I’m also fascinated by the paintings of former astronaut Alan Bean and cosmonaut Alexei  Leonov, who share a similar instinct with Bierstadt and Church. Leonov was first to walk in  space and Bean walked on the moon, and both returned undeterred by the futility of trying to  share with us just how awesome it was.     Most recently as I’ve been working on more UFO drawings, I’ve become fascinated with the  photos and philosophy of swiss cult leader Billy Meier. In addition to his thousands of (faked,  obviously) flying saucer photographs first published in the 70’s, he’s managed to turn his  following into a lucrative cult with a robust mythology. He’s spoken with an extraterrestrial  visitor named Semjase on several occasions, traveled back in time with aliens to meet Jesus  and photograph dinosaurs, discovered a new book of the Bible in Jerusalem in 1963, and lots of  other crazy stuff.

3) How does your choice of material impact your work?
I really don’t think I could capture the spirit of it any better than this passage from my former  Chicago gallerist Thomas Robertello:   

The materiality of Nudelman’s drawings is often in sync with the ways in which our culture  dissociates itself from the Earth. The deliberate use of less-than-archival ballpoint pen shows an  artist at peace with his mortality as the work will inevitably age. The future of the drawings is  difficult to predict. The colors will fade or break down at different rates. Wizened colors may  point toward lost or dying species, and all may eventually be lost or gained, as a meditative  creative gesture in the present extends itself toward a future of possibilities.

installation view: the salon series

installation view: the salon series

installation view: Thomas Robertello Gallery

installation view: Thomas Robertello Gallery