Giving reality its due is Nagle’s specialty. And he does it like no one else. In his hands, reality is more splendid than usual: complex, confounding, and charged, it sizzles with mystery and rivets your attention to every detail.
Massimiliano Gioni: What do you like the look of?
Ron Nagle: Everything from nature to low rider cars, to Japanese interiors, gardens, food, etc. All things Japanese really, and fashion magazines, high-end food presentation, other art, some sculpture, mostly painting, random influences from street imagery, graffiti, architecture, and then textures and color combinations, or a tastefully assembled outfit.
If Fabergé had lived in California, loved hot rods and surfboards, and been blessed with an impudent art-historical wit, on his best day he still couldn’t compete with Nagle. No larger than teacups, Nagle’s pieces shine, glow, swoop, curve, and blend—each with its own ghostly presence and haunting silhouette. We don’t know what they are, but, clearly, they couldn’t be better.
The execution of the work approaches perfection. The carefully composed pallet of paint and glaze is meticulously applied, often in several layers, resulting in a finish that effortlessly matches the transcendent beauty of sixteenth-century Momoyama aesthetics.
I found my way to art through rebellion. From seeing and hearing stuff I’d never heard before. It gave me my own secret life.