My work explores gender permissions and the challenges that arise from straying from the prescribed norms. It questions the qualities of gender by considering what constitutes masculine and feminine. It critiques stereotypical gender mediums by creating “masculine objects” using “feminine processes” such as crochet, sewing, and applique.
Many of the the objects I create were inspired by memories of attempts to be masculine. Men I have known spent much of their time in the garage with tools getting greasy and doing the heavy duty lawn work. They watched Sunday afternoon football on their recliners with the remote in hand. One uncle was a body builder, which to me was the physical epitome of masculinity, and the other a hunter, expressing his prowess through killing animals and displaying their heads. And, I distinctly remember longing to be tall enough to use the urinal in the men’s restroom like the big guys. By crocheting the objects that are linked to these masculine ideas I am breaking down the barrier of traditional gender permissions. The objects are no longer rough and manly, but soft and inviting. They evoke the feminine. The non-traditional sculpting process of crochet allows me to draw attention to the sources, motivations and meanings around the challenge of defining gender identities.
My latest work, including a life sized locker room and a series of gas masks, grows from these ideas and takes on issues of vulnerability, intimacy and projecting a persona to the outside world.”
In “Locker Room” I use the stereotypically feminine mediums of knit and crochet to explore ideas of gender permissions, and how societal constructs often dictate the roles we play. This installation draws on years of being the scrawny kid – setting the locker room apart as an experience of vulnerability and discomfort rather than the temple of masculinity it is hyped to be.
Locker Room deals with gender permissions, acceptable gender activities, and created spaces. Creating a stereotypically masculine space with a stereotypically feminine process brings to surface questions around activities that our culture deems acceptable for men and women.
This created space is about a false sense of masculinity and safety. The locker room is a place that is offered up as a place for men to be private and comfortable. In actuality, there is often comparing, measuring up, and a general feeling of being inadequately masculine.
The obviously open construction and layout as well as the knit and crocheted objects point out the distance between the promise of a temple to masculinity and the reality of how constructed gender roles truly are.
This exhibition presents twenty-four artists from around the world, including Nathan Vincent, who use thread-based craft materials and techniques to examine the diversity of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer experiences.
Vincent’s artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and abroad. He holds a B.F.A. from SUNY Purchase and has been awarded artist residencies from 7Below (2013) and The Museum of Arts and Design (2012), as well as the competitive West Collects Prize (2008).
2013: “DON’T MAKE ME count to three”, Mighty Tanaka, Brooklyn, NY
2012: “Be Good for Goodness Sake” with Mighty Tanaka, Fountain Art Fair, Miami, FL
2009: “Nathan Vincent”, Lion Brand Yarn Studio, NYC, NY
2008: “Nathan Vincent: Knot Unraveled”, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA
Select Group Exhibitions
“An Object of Beauty: Metal/Fiber/Glass”, Chatauqua Institution, Chatauqua, NY
“Emerging to Establish”, Krause Gallery, NYC, NY
“Seat’s Taken”, BCA Center, Burlington, VA
“This End Up” with West Collection, PULSE, Miami, FL
“To Be Considered”, Muriel Guepin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
“Bad for Me” with Shizaru Gallery, Mayfair, London
“The Mysterious Content of Softness”, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, FL
“Threat”, Present Company, Brooklyn, NY
“F*CK Art”, Museum of Sex, NYC, NY
“Wait Until Your Father Gets Home”, Art Gallery, Norfolk, VA
“Summer Group Show”, Krause Gallery, NYC, NY
“Casual Encounters”, Mighty Tanaka, NYC, NY
“The Mysterious Content of Softness”, Bellevue Arts Museum, Seattle, WA
“12×12”, Mighty Tanaka, Brooklyn, NY
“Inaugural Group Show”, Krause Gallery, NYC, NY
“The Accretion of Events”, Volume Black, NYC, NY
“Summertime”, Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, NYC, NY
“Chronotopia”, SOMArts, San Francisco, CA
“Highwater Sculpture Invitational”, The Noyes Museum of Art, Oceanville, NJ
“Home Sweet Home”, Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY
“Knit Wit”, Nudashank Gallery, Baltimore, MD
“Wrap it Up!”, Westchester Arts Council, White Plains, NY
“Summer Sampler”, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
“no one knows”, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA
“Twist + Shout: The New Needle Arts”, Klein Family Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL
“The Lodge”, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
“Sew-A-Typical”, SUNY Purchase, Purchase, NY
“JLMN Group Show”, SUNY Purchase, Purchase, NY
2004: BFA Purchase College, State University of New York
Grants and Residencies
2013: Artist-in Residence, BCA Center, Burlington, VT
2012: Artist-in-Residence, Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, NY
2008: West Collects Prize
Select Publications and Press
“Art That Speaks to You, Even if It Says ‘Scram!’”, New York Times, March 7, 2012
“Nathan Vincent: It’s a Man’s World”, East Village Boys, July 22, 2011
“Man At Work”, by Christine Vitron, Interweave Crochet, Summer 2011
“Quotation”, Worldwide Creative Journal, Spring 2011
The Knitter Magazine, Issue 5, 2011
“Roadtrip Nation”, Season 7: Ep. 10, 2010
Color and Color, Volume 2, 2010
“Real Men Don’t Make Swatches”, by Dorothe Swinkels, Textiel Plus Magazine, 2010
“The Yarn Show”, The Martha Stewart Show, March 23, 2009
“Wooden Suits and Knitted Nails”, by Betsy Dijulio, Portfolio Weekly, 2008
“Twist+Shout: The New Needle Arts”, by Kristine Kadlec, FiberArts Magazine, 2006
“Twist+Shout: The New Needle Arts”, exhibition catalogue St. Petersburg, FL, 2006