I'm interested in human behavior and the psycho-social conditions that shape them. My work is
rooted in Dark Imaginarence, a term I've coined that conceptually and formally tie together-social critique, African American cultural expression, the experiential, poetics of the everyday, and the
ordinary with subtle altering twists through the lens of the working class poor. I'm not only interested in what is considered contemporary art or taught as a finite form of expression but I’m also
interested in what is not considered art as well. Dark Imaginarence is my self-identifying, poly-rhythmic approach and response to contemporary art making along with other actions that are
interdisciplinary in nature and rooted in the black experience.
Currently I've been interested in spatiality as it relates to ways African Americans have occupied, interrupted, transcended, re-imagined, restructured, and/or experienced space. But generally my work thematically oscillates around notions of physical and psychological space, identity, societal relationships, self-reflection, the vernacular, and “was it art before it was theorized as contemporary art” critiques and concerns.
I'm not focused on any particular specialized topic in my work; only ideas that interests me at the time. However what I am trying to achieve within my practice; is a type of feel or understanding that exists within and is parallel to some tangible and non-tangible elements of humanness, Black American music, and performance. This approach allows me to work in a varied range of materials and forms as a way to gain a greater understanding of self, society, and the human condition.
Nathaniel Donnett lives and works in Houston, Texas and studied at Texas Southern University. Donnett is the founder of the website blog "Not That But This". which was funded by a 2015 Idea Fund /Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, 2017 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, 2015 Houston Downtown Vehicular Wayfinding Signs Project public art commission. Donnett has also received the 2014 Harpo Foundation Grant, 2011 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, 2011 Idea Fund/Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, 2010 Artadia Award. He’s exhibited at The American Museum, Washington, DC, The Kemper Contemporary Arts Museum, Kansas City, MO, The Theresa Hotel, Harlem, NY, Harvey B Gantt Art Center for African American Arts and Culture, Charlotte, NC, The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury CT, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX, Texas Southern University Museum, Houston, TX, The New Museum, NY, NY, The National Museum in Lima, Peru and The Modern Museum of Peru.