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Natalie Gabriel’s Aerosol-Pastel Landscapes are Like a Dream

Updated: Aug 03, 2022 10:58
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It was another beautiful day in North Beach as I rounded the corner of Grant Ave. The music from The Saloon was live and happening as always, and the sun was bright and shining. I was meeting with Natalie Gabriel (@nattypaints) at her private studio for a photo shoot to promote her upcoming solo show at the Fishtank Gallery on August 5th (photos by Ashley Wacker, @ashleywackerphoto).  It couldn’t have been a better setting as the works of Natalie Gabriel’s aerosol pastel landscapes matched the energy that was flowing over North Beach.

You might have seen Natalie’s work as she has murals from the Financial District to the Mission including one with her friends, idols and mentors Lady Mags and Amanda Lynn on Duboce right across the street from the Soma West Skatepark. While speaking about the duo and Natalie’s own ascent as a female artist and the moment she knew this was it, all came back to one night at 111 Minna.

“The moment that I experienced that was when I went to Amanda Lynn and Lady Mag’s art show at 111 Minna. I was working in a gallery at the time, and doing other artists’ busy work or behind the scenes work. I was happy to do it but I also knew that I could paint and draw myself. So when I went to this art opening, I felt this visceral shift in my body. I want to paint murals. I can do this. I’m not one of those people that work in galleries that help other artists because they aren’t creative or they feel like they can’t make art, which I think is bullshit. I mean, anybody can do it if they feel like it.”  

Natalie Gabriel did just that, leaving her job at 836M Gallery to pursue art as a means of making a living full time. Which  is highly commendable and frankly terrifying. The rewards have been worth the risk as she landed studio space behind Jeremy Fish’s former studio on the corner of Union and Grant, forging a friendship that is more than just art. 

As I sat bouncing questions off Natalie while Ashley was snapping pics I could tell she hated this. Natalie doesn’t like being the focus of attention. She loves art and the way that art speaks to individuals, the humblest of the humblest. If you ever get to meet her you will agree.

It’s not about her friendships with the who’s who in the San Francisco art and graffiti world. She keeps those private, close, and highly valued. I on the other hand have no shame when it comes to building up deserving artists. Natalie is an artist who has been recognized by her peers and is just living in the moment. Which is something we all should do. 

“I try and I work on this, but I try not to put myself above or below anybody. And same with other people. But I do look up to people like Amanda and Jeremy a lot. I don’t know, I would like to say it’s about the art and about the commitment to that. But I think it’s just we’re all trying to be good people, good human beings and do what we love to do. I think that those kinds of people gravitate toward each other. And that’s what’s going on.” 

Natalie is a vibe and left me with one of her favorite quotes from local skater and artist Pablo Ramirez: “The sky changes colors twice a day for free”. This essence has been captured beautifully in Interdimensional.

Interdimensional opens this Friday, August 5th 5-9pm and will be running for the entire month of August at Jeremy Fish’s “Fishtank Gallery.” Spend $200 next door at the Pipeline dispensary and get a coin to unlock a Jeremy Fish print from the vending machine. But to be honest we’re all here for Natalie Gabriel.

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JC Carlston

JC Carlston

JC is a freelance writer of untypical nonsense and former co-owner and founder of Lower Branch (art blog/nomadic curating group) and the Lower Branch Gallery in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. A sports nerd with an appetite for all things art and absurd. He can easily be found bopping around all corners of the city with a beer and burrito in hand, keep an eye out and say hello.

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