Monday, March 23, 2020

Nathan Cartwright of Hive Gallery & Studios

Nathan Cartwright is the owner and director of Hive Gallery & Studios in Los Angeles, CA featuring Pop Surrealism, Low Brow, Performance Art and Events

When did you first realize your passion for the arts?
I've been drawing every since I was wee bitty tike... I would draw incessantly on dot-matrix printer paper in the basement when all the other kids were out playing.

What was the initial seed that got you started with Hive Gallery?

The initial seed was starting at Hangar 1018, a large gallery/event space which I worked out of and helped organize before the Hive. I loved working with other artists and musicians in a community setting.

Does The Hive align with or differ from what you originally
envisioned it to be?

It aligns perfectly with my vision, because I am very near sided... I see what is in front of me and go with the flow. I create, organize and run my business the same way I make my art- organically. I have rough sketches, but enjoy getting lost in executing the overall plan.

Aside from being a busy (bee) gallerist, you are also an artist. Do
you find that you have enough opportunity to express your own

I have plenty of time to express, but it seems there is less of that as the years go by... Thus, I've had to become a master of time management. I work on my art late at night until 3/4am during the times that I'm not working on the business, answering phone calls, being tuned into social media. To create is  a challenge, a juggling act, but it's what I live for... similar to having a child. I organize my lifestyle so I can spend time with her.

What do you find most rewarding about gallery directing?

I love working with artists that are in the zone and evolving. Watching artists emerge and grow is one of the best things about my job... besides being around visionaries, freaks, the shamans of our era.

What are some of the challenges that you face?

Working with the rules of the city and the bigger picture is a challenge. I've had to learn the rules as I go along, and figure out how to abide by them, but keep things moving in a forward motion.

Are there certain qualities that you look for in artists in deciding
whether they will be pleasurable to work with? And on the contrary,
any areas for improvement artists should be aware of?

I look at skill level first; It's important to have skill in figurative work first. This says a lot about an artist's dedication to his/her trade. I show more figurative/surrealist work and that's what I sell mostly in the business. This is what I'm usually looking for at first.

Do you have any specific do’s and don’ts for artists looking to
submit their work to you?

Please have a website or some kind of online presence. I don't look at paper portfolios... Also, I ask that you do don't try to show me your work during shows. That is a time when I need to connect with my guests and sell artwork.

Are there any misconceptions about your position as gallerist in
which you face from the public?

I'm a different kind of gallerist-I'm first and foremost an artist, who happens to sell art. I don't know if this is a negative thing, it's just a distorted mirror between gallerist/businessman/artist...but with me I am all in the same.

Do you have any plans for Hive Gallery beyond what it is today?

I would love to have live/work studios in the future... a real community where artists can live cheap and make amazing magickal work. This is a dream which is in the making! In the meantime, I would like to keep pushing new artists, showing them around the world (like our shows in Japan, Germany and Italy), and help them continue to succeed as art warriors in this crazy, wacky world in which we live.

Check out Nathan Cartwright on instagram at:@kingbeeme.

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