“There’s nothing but chemicals between me and you”
By Nate Massari
“Journals” is a part of Bare Melancholy—a series of drawings, paintings, and objects which feature skeletons in nonsensical situations, making subtle jabs at existentialist ideas, to illustrate some of the more banal facets of mental health.
Simplicity and an unrefined aesthetic are its essential qualities; I’ve purposely left the pencil under-drawings, blemishes on the paper, and some mistakes, in order to emphasize both the messy process of creativity and also the imperfections that are critical to the ideas that this series converses on. The same rudimentary approach is also included within the soundtrack, which is a segment of a single-take, eight-minute-long piano improvisation recorded on my phone.
Much of my inspiration is drawn from the ideas of others. Overlaying the visuals are short passages of text inspired by the thoughts of a handful of authors, musicians, and thinkers, pulled from their journals and personal letters, hence the name of the piece. Many of the figures chosen were famously known for their relationships with mental illness, such as in the case of Van Gogh and Sylvia Plath, or significantly spoke out about it, as in the case of psychologist Carl Jung.
Nate Massari is a visual artist of various media, including painting, drawing, and sculpting. He also does freelance graphic design work and works as an overhire scenic painter. His work has been shown by the Common Folk Artist Collective, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Downstreet Art.