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Artist Spotlight: Jamie Natalo

Every month or so, Christian Pan Erotica features the work of a different visual artist for the covers of each of our original stories.

When I was preparing to launch this site on 24 April, I knew I wanted to start with Brooklyn-based artist Jamie Natalo--someone I´ve known for a number of years whose work illustrates the kind of sensuality and physicality I try to pour into my stories.

Below is from an interview we did earlier this month. (Don´t worry. We were both vaccinated).


CP: How long have you been doing visual art? Did you study this in school?

JN: I have been drawing and creating almost as long as I can remember, really. I did study in college, and though it was not my sole focus it was always something that was extremely important to me. I took a lot of painting, drawing and sculpture classes, and nearly all of them (beyond basic technique) were focused on the figure. Additionally, I was dancing and choreographing in school and was a member of a modern dance company (Variable Velocity, in California); and learning to teach Pilates and Gyrotonics, all at the same time. So a great deal of my life was devoted to the study of the human form, in one way or another, within a very concentrated period of time. It was truly glorious to have so much symbiosis in my pursuits.

CP: How did these current drawings featured on the site come to be?

JN: My visual art practice had really dwindled after moving to New York City many years ago. I always meant to return to it, but the city has a way of really making time disappear. At the beginning of the pandemic I suddenly had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with, so I sought out ways to keep my mind busy with something positive and also returned to the things (art, dance) that always helped me to process my emotional life.

CP: A lot of these drawings are displayed on your social media, after the "Friday Sip n´ Sketch". What is that?

JN: I had joined a couple instagram/zoom based art groups. This one I just happened to stumble upon and sent an email requesting to join. There are a few others that I visit often but this has really been an anchor in my weekly schedule. The community that some of the models on the social media platforms have built is incredible, and I’m honored and fortunate to participate.

CP: How has the pandemic of the last 14+ months impacted your artistic life?

JN: This year, with all of the difficulties in every possible direction, has actually given me the time, energy, and ability to return to a regular art practice. I do not intend on letting this piece of me drift away again. It makes me feel whole and nurtures me in a specific way that can’t be found elsewhere. So, for this I am thankful.

CP: What do you enjoy specifically about drawing nudes?

JN: Well. My landscapes are terribly boring. So there’s that (laughs).

But the body has always mystified me, and it presents such a satisfying challenge. When you draw a figure successfully it involves really drawing what you see, versus what you expect to see. That sort of observation without judgement is really fascinating. A good understanding of the skeleton and musculature is, I think, essential, as it informs the surface and makes a drawing more convincing.

CP: As an artist, who makes an ideal model or subject? What do you look for when you draw?

JN: I don’t have an “ideal” subject. Other than someone with the desire to sit still! One of the things I look to translate to the page is the energy the model is giving in the moment. Some small piece of what they are feeling or projecting, or at least what I am perceiving from that. That’s what really inspires me.

CP: You have an upcoming in-person showing of your work, right?

JN: I have a show at Kabisera Collective, on Manhattan´s Lower East Side, from July 10- August 6, 2021. I think I’ll be showing solely work from this pandemic period (though I might bring a painting from a while back down as well). I’m excited!

Follow Jamie Natalo on Instagram to enjoy more of her work here.

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