Nate Frizzell’s “Put on a Happy Face” opens November 8th at the new Cerasoli:LeBasse gallery. He took a little time to talk with us about his first solo show.

“With this show, I’m trying to convey the mixed emotions that people have from day to day. Some may be depressing, some happy, some scared, and some brave. I feel like for myself, my mood is constantly changing, and I act accordingly. I put on a different mask to let people know where I stand at that moment. Each painting in this series has a mask of sorts that represents a different emotion. Some of the paintings are a little more literal and some are more fun. ”

More after the jump.

When you look at Nate’s paintings, the first thing you will probably notice is that the faces of the subjects are all covered. With so much meaning behind every piece, it is particularly interesting to hear the thoughts behind each painting. This is what Nate had to say:

“In this show, I’ve covered the faces of the subjects in each painting with different types of “masks”. The purpose of this is to remove the identity of the person and replace it with an emotion. The viewer is not allowed the opportunity to connect with the subject. My goal is that they will see the story before they see the person.”


“In the painting, “shallow”, the goal is not to just show a boy feeling shallow, but to bring that feeling to life. This is definitely one of the more playful paintings in the set. But if you look closely and read into it more, it’s also one of the more serious. I thought it would be fun to illustrate “shallow” in every sense of the word. One definition of the word is “lacking depth of intellect, emotion, or knowledge”. Not only is the boy in the painting standing in shallow water, but he still finds a way to drown himself in it, ignoring the affect he has on his surroundings. The boy holds a single fish, plopping in his hand to represent the loneliness a shallow person feels by distancing themselves from others with their attitudes and actions. ”

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We also included some sketches in the gallery that he did at Baby Tattooville that were what we assume to be of pieces from his show.

Discuss this show here.
Discuss Nate here.