One would never imagine an authentic art gallery could lay in the middle of a tiny street in the city of Ontario. Gallery by Dzine, which focuses on displaying urban artwork, is currently displaying Nathaniel Donnett’s art exhibit, “The Lost Children Series.”
Donnett explained that his inspiration for this work originated from his daughter having a depression due to issues between him and her mother.
Although Donnett normally uses canvas or wood for his pieces, he is currently using torn paper and broken wood in his work, which symbolizes how things need to be changed, broken down and rebuilt.
“The Lost Children Series” deals with adults and children’s relationships and their interaction with each other.
“Unfortunately there is a disconnect between adults and children, so with this series I’ve tried to bring those thoughts and images to the forefront,” Donnett said.
He explained that he began to listen to the conversations of children and found that what they have to say is far more interesting than what adults have to say.
After studying the social and psychological levels of the children, he noticed that they are in another world without adults around them.
The exhibit, which consists of 16 paintings and eight watercolors, has also been displayed at the Breakfast Klub, a breakfast restaurant and art gallery in Houston, where some pieces of the show have been sold.
Visitor to the gallery Bruce Gaines, a 37-year-old Pomona resident, said he recently began attending shows at Dzine, and said Donnett’s work reminded him of his daughter.
“I really like his work; I love the children’s theme,” Gaines said. “The piece titled ‘The Blondest Hair Award’ reminds me of my daughter because of the girls’ hair.”
Donnett tends to communicate things that focus on the social commentary of something he has seen or felt.
He communicates what is imaginative, and thinks that through art, people will see things differently and encourage them to try something different from what they have been doing.
“My work falls into a world that I call the ‘in-world,’ which allows an exploration of the self, social paradoxes and an embarking on a spiritual journey and arrival to a vertical destination,” Donnett said. “The destination is never complete because its truth may continue to change.”
Dzine’s marketing director, Prachel Carter, said Donnett contacted her through an e-mail and instantly loved his work. Carter knew his art went hand in hand with the gallery’s progressive urban theme, which was perfect for Dzine to exhibit.
“I think Nathaniel’s work is so vibrant and full of color; it pops,” Carter said. “Once you know the meaning behind his work, it makes it that much better.”
Carter said the gallery had its grand opening in October 2005. The building, which was built in 1927 by a famous African-American architect, used to serve as a post office. The art gallery is now used to recognize artists such as Donnett.
Although Donnett has been experimenting with art since he was four, he also has other special talents: He loves poetry, dance and used to rap when he was younger.
In addition, he is self-taught on the drums and guitar and claims to be great at observing others.
While growing up, he entered contests and won awards and majored in art education at Texas Southern University where he learned his discipline in art. However, he considers himself a self-taught artist.
“I’m in the arts, and always have been,” Donnett said. “That’s who I am: an artist.”
Gabby De La Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.