Oftentimes there is as a place or object that becomes a constant muse for an artist and it appears in their work repeatedly. Nicholas Evans-Cato’s playground is Brooklyn, New York—a location where he is captivated by the iconic bridge and the bird’s-eye views around the city. However, it isn’t just Brooklyn that has continued to draw in Evans-Cato, but also specific weather conditions that affect the atmosphere.
In particular, Evans-Cato paints fog and snow, which allows the edges of man-made structures to fade into the distance. The artist also paints on location, so he waits for just the right conditions to bring out his canvas. “[T]here is a lot of planning ahead in my work because I work outside on site,” he elaborates. “I tend to not know exactly which painting I’m working on until I know what the weather is going to be like.”
From May 15 to June 9, Evans-Cato will present a collection of New York City scenes in a new show at George Billis Gallery. The works will highlight some of the most well-known structures as well as lesser-known sites.
One of the most recognized landmarks that Evans-Cato paints is the Brooklyn Bridge, which he has captured in various seasons, atmosphere and perspectives. Two examples are Brontosaurus and Lattice, which were painted from his friend’s rooftop. The difference between the two is Brontosaurus is a more narrow, panoramic view, while Lattice shows more of the sky with a low horizon line that is similar to 17th-century Dutch landscape paintings.
One of his around-town works is Keyboard, which is a view looking out at a bus parking lot and repair yard right after a snowstorm. “There was something quite wonderful, I thought, about the resemblance between the buses and a piano,” he shares. In another scene, The Edge, the fog is the central component, as the city in the background seems to drift in and out of focus.
“I guess the way I think about [my work] is, if I return to a spot repeatedly, it’s because there is something I feel I still haven’t captured yet,” Evans-Cato remarks. “I’ve always had a feeling that an artist doesn’t need fresh places, but rather fresh eyes.”
George Billis Gallery
525 W. 26th Street, Ground Floor • New York, NY 10001 (212) 645-2621 • www.georgebillis.com
Brontosaurus, oil on linen, 24 x 72"
Keyboard, oil on canvas, 24 x 44"