Sunday, May 6, 2007

Patrick Nagatani: Confessions of a Tapist

Patrick Nagatani, Professor of Photography in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of New Mexico is set to retire and move on, full speed ahead in June of 2007 after 20 years at UNM. He will retire as Professor Emeritus and be a full time artist, continuing to live and work in Albuquerque. I am very fortunate to be able to count Patrick as a mentor to me when I was a graduate student at UNM, and beyond. He gave austere, yet weighty advice when I got my first tenure track position teaching photography. "Keep a high profile at school. Make sure anyone and everyone can get in touch with you easily. Make lots of art."

Later when I was struggling with difficult issues outside of school, and saw him for the first time in a few years, he sat patiently until I finished my story that was littered with bits of righteous indignation. He gave a faint hint of a smile and told me I should make art about it.

Saying Patrick knows his stuff is quite the understatement; it is not easy being an artist and a scholar. I pass this advice on to other aspiring artists. Sometimes we forget the straightforward things in the midst of our hectic lives.

Patrick is having a show at 516 Arts in Albuquerque (516 Central SW, between 5th & 6th streets) , May 26- July 21. The reception is Saturday May 26th from 6-8pm. The title of the exhibition is Patrick Nagatani: Confessions of a Tapist. The website for the work is at The above snapshot was made at his opening, which was standing room only. It was good to be there and bask in his light for a bit.

516 ARTS presents Patrick Nagatani’s Confessions of a Tapist in the downstairs gallery, focusing on his series created over the past 23 years incorporating the obsessive and meticulous use of masking tape applied to his photographs. These mixed media pieces utilize photography, collage, painting and assemblage. Nagatani’s attention to the “Zen of material and process” is the inspiration for an accompanying exhibition in the upstairs gallery, featuring artists using alternative, inexpensive materials in an obsessive, time-consuming, and complex manner. Patrick Nagatani will give a talk on July 14 at 4pm in conjunction with PhotoArts ABQ, the Albuquerque day for PhotoArts, Santa Fe.

The titles for the below images are “Ghosts,” 41x27 choromogenic print with selectively applied masking tape, ink, and archival mounting medium. “Enlightenment,” 39x28, photograph, masking tape. “Introspection,” 38x26 photograph, masking tape, archival enhancing medium. “Epiphany,” photograph, masking tape, archival masking medium.


Josephine Dvorken said...

I graduated from UNM in 1994. I agree with all the nice things you said about Patrick. I wish I could be there for the opening.
Josephine Dvorken

Larry McNeil in Larryland said...

Hi Josephine, I'll pass along your comment to Patrick, as I'll be seeing him tomorrow at his opening. I'm sure he'll be happy to hear from you!


Michael said...

Hey Larry,

I came across your post after Googleing Patrick. I was in his first class at UNM. Thanks for posting the pictures. It was nice to see them.


Larry McNeil said...

Hey Mike,

That's pretty historic to be in Patrick's first class. I hear that he got quite the send-off at the Society for Photographic Education conference early this spring.