I'm interested in human behavior and the psychosocial 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 culture expression, the experiential, and the poetics of the everyday through the lens of the working class. It's my self-identifying, poly-rhythmic approach to contemporary art making that's interdisciplinary in nature and centers black subjectivity. The elements in Black American music and performance are goals I try to achieve within my practice.
I work in a varied range of materials and ideas as a way to gain a greater understanding of self, society, and the human condition. Thematically my work oscillates between notions of physical and psychological space, identity, and self-reflection. Currently I've been interested in spatiality as it relates to ways African Americans have occupied, interrupted, re-imagined and/or restructured space. For example topics such as black “ghetto” naming as imaginative resistance, visibility and positioning the in-external self, vernacular architecture, language, and the presence of objects and black bodies interrupting structures and environments. Explorations of the in-between spaces where things are in flux, as is life, are the ideas I'm most interested in exploring.
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.