Chris Natrop

size variable | cut paper with watercolor, glitter and magic string; cut acrylic sheet; HD video projection | 2008
Solo Exhibition | MOCA Jacksonville | 2008

I traveled to Florida in the fall of 2007 to meet with the curator of MOCA Jacksonville.

I had a solo exhibition scheduled there for that spring, and needed to personally review their gallery space. I was going to make a new site-specific installation and hadn’t yet decided what I was going to do. The galleries ended up being huge. The walls were awkwardly long and the space was cavernous. I left the meeting excited, but a bit daunted.

Flying back to Los Angeles, the airplane flew into weather somewhere over Texas. I was half asleep with my cheek pressed against the window. Beads of water pelted the outside glass as blue-grey mist enveloped the aircraft. The atmosphere deepened; dark patches of ochre-grey flew by. I gazed out, transfixed, with seat belt fastened. The airplane finally broke out of the turmoil. My emotional state deepened: this is the moment I was looking for. I turned on my iPhone and tapped some prose into its Notepad:

Beams of crimson-yellow blasted the rain. Rainbow vapor filled the air; wisps of silver-lavender mushroomed; rosy cotton balls barrelled past. Everywhere is thick and consuming. A flittering point of bright light. Strong white hazy slightly obscured by chopped atmosphere. A spot bright hollow with glittery corona. A slight vibration. Searching like a laserscope. Dewdrops. Slightly after rain. Washing down. Finding the spot. Beads and beads. Interconnecting and refracting. Descending. And further the dewdrop falls.

The last line of that text ended up fueling several forthcoming projects, including the title piece for my exhibition at MOCA Jacksonville. That particular moment on the airplane compelled me to want to “capture” atmosphere, and infuse it into my work. Going forward, I wanted to harness that simple, but magical intensity. Living in parched Los Angeles, it was an easy obsession: dreams of dewdrops dripping from grass; rain streaming down window panes; mist hovering over the trees. This dewdrop complex was a subtle fixation that sustained me throughout 2008.