My work navigates and comments on the historical space of post-war America as interpreted through the depiction of recognizable period objects. These images possess a stylistic look bound to a specific place in history, a time in our collective American past that made us who we are today. In many ways they are icons; instantly recognized representations with ideological connotations. I am actively exploring this ideology as both American history and pedigree.
The process of making archival images into re-contextualized collage artworks becomes a means to explore the past and its implications for the present. I am drawn to these images for the multiple ways that they communicate across the span of decades. They have the ability to illicit a wide range of viewer responses, from feelings of nostalgia and longing for lost times to feelings of repression and skepticism. My interest is rooted in a personal fascination with uniquely American symbols.
As art objects, the are accessible to nearly everyone and at first glance often appear superficial, but are simultaneously profound in the ideas they explore and the process by which they are made. The iconic object is given new life in a new context to comment on the ever changing American identity.
Nathan Stromberg (b. 1978, Springfield, Massachusetts) is a collage artist and painter based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and a Studio Art degree from Bethel University. For 15 years, he has exhibited his work locally and nationally through many solo and group exhibitions. He has also created large scale painted murals, designed theater sets and illustrated award-winning children’s books. He teaches visual art and design to high school students in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 2017, he created 9 large-scale collage works for the permanent art collection of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His work tends to reflect on iconic and nostalgic American subjects. Made from found newspaper and vintage color magazine fragments, his collages appear at first to be realistic photographs but on closer inspection contain loads of detail and historical references, exploring and commenting on the connections we make with designed objects.