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Automatic Writing

  • Accession Number:
  • Artist:
    Larson, Nate
  • Date:
  • Medium:
    Inkjet print
  • Dimensions:
    image: 12 in x 18 in; mat: 20 in x 24 in; paper: 13 in x 19 in
  • Credit Line:
    Gift of the artist


About the Photographer

Larson, Nate

American, b. 1978

Working simultaneously on several interconnected series, Nate Larson inquires into the acts and devices of coincidence, ritual, religion, pseudo-science, and superstition. From fortune cookie lucky numbers to mysterious healings, he treats episodes from the quaint to the outlandish with narrative flair and a kind of deadpan respect. Not debunking so much as deciphering, Larson involves himself both as the striped tie-wearing everyman in his pictures and by submitting his own personal stories for review. His works challenge the nature of objectivity, as well as the idea of belief as a cultural construct and its life-shaping force.

In one series, Nate Larson depicts a story he heard on the AM radio while driving late at night about a man who cut a baked potato in half to discover mirror-image glowing crosses. Based on this story, he began to investigate paranormal events, both religious and secular, and recreate them in his photography studio. In another series, Miracle Pennies, Larson searches for spiritual and monetary rewards while faithfully executing divine directions addressed to him in a letter from the self-proclaimed profit Peter Popoff. Somewhere between investigative reporting and imaginative storytelling, Larson’s narrative follows an involved mail scam with a fool’s swiftness, inviting viewers to join him in setting aside sound judgment to believe in the extraordinary.

Nate Larson is a full-time faculty member at The Maryland Institute College of Art. He completed an MFA at The Ohio State University (2002) and a BA at Purdue University (1978.) Larson has exhibited nationally and internationally including recent exhibitions at The New Gallery, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY and The Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH.