testsite 16.1 ~ Nathan “SLOKE” Nordstrom: FATCAPPED

Nathan Nordstrom & Chale Nafus

February 21 - April 24

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      Nathan “SLOKE” Nordstrom painting a “piece” in Austin, TX. Photo courtesy of the artist. Photographer: Marie Garrison.

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      Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present testsite 16.1: Nathan “SLOKE” Nordstrom: FATCAPPED, an installation of work by Austin-native graffiti artist Nathan Nordstrom curated by Chale Nafus. This project will bring SLOKE’s graffiti art sensibility and expertise into the intimate gallery space with a selection of works on panel as well as documentary photographs of related work from the streets of Austin and other cities in the US and abroad. The project opens on Sunday, February 21 with a public reception from 4 to 6 pm, and a conversation between the artist and the curator at 4:30 pm.

      In Graffiti Art, the term "piece" (short for masterpiece) is a large, colorful, complex painting of an artist's name. The art form is based on letters (one's name) with the "tag" (one's signature) being the foundation. The goal of a graffiti artist is to develop and master styles. Ever since the beginning of time humans have left their mark on surfaces. In the graffiti world we call this "Stylized Typography." For this testsite exhibit my goal is to take pieces of a "piece" and put them in a different setting where they can be viewed. This is my way of taking the rawness and energy of the streets and bringing it indoors. A lot of what I've experienced in my graffiti art career, I want to translate to canvas – the outlines, compositions, layers, forms, colors, beauty, destruction, texture, the drama, the temporary nature of the art form, and the risks involved in painting in the streets. This I believe is what makes the exhibit interesting. We are going to peel off the walls and bring them indoors.


      Nathan "SLOKE" Nordstrom is an Austin native who has been producing graffiti art on the streets and professionally since the 1990s as a self-taught artist and muralist. In 1995, he and the artist Saint founded the No Bounds Krew (NBK), whose work could be seen in murals and other graffiti across Austin. In 2002, SLOKE began working almost exclusively as a spray-can artist “by permission” and travels the world painting murals and producing art for companies including Redbull, Nike, Facebook, Google, and Apple, and for local entities including The University of Texas, and Seton with the American Heart Association. He curates and participates in art shows locally, nationally, and internationally. SLOKE gives back to the local community by teaching his spray-can methods and techniques to youth in association with The City of Austin, A.I.S.D, and the Mexican American Cultural Center. For more information: http://www.slokeone.com/.

      Chale Nafus is a Dallas, Texas native who left that city shortly after the assassination of John Kennedy. Armed with a 1968 UT-Austin M.A. in English/RTF, he spent five years teaching in South Texas, Puerto Rico, and New York City before returning to Austin to begin a 25-year career as a full-time professor at Austin Community College. There he founded the Radio-TV-Film Department, served as Northridge Chair of Humanities for 7 years, and retired in 1998. A founding board member of Austin Film Society since 1985, he resigned in 2002 to take the position of AFS Director of Programming and enjoyed 12 years of programming a wide array of predominantly international films at various AFS venues and working with many Austin film organizations. Now that he has retired a second time, he is back on the AFS board while continuing relations with numerous film organizations. In regard to this testsite exhibit, he has been fascinated by the four elements of hip hop (graffiti, b-boyin’, rapping, and deejaying) since 1984, especially as they have blossomed, died, and been reborn in Austin over three decades.


      Opening reception at testsite: Sunday, February 21, 4-6pm, with an artist talk at 4:30pm.
      Hours: Sundays 4–6pm and by appointment
      Information: sbancroft@fluentcollab.org, 512.453.3199