About Natalie Kahn Aguilar, artist

I was a Fine Art major  at California State University, Fresno between 1968 and 1974. At that time the university was a center of growth for the women’s art movement.  Judy Chicago and many other women artists were living and teaching in Fresno. They were all a major influence on me and other young women in the art department.

In 1974 a group of us opened Gallery 25, one of the first women’s cooperative art galleries in the country. I participated in many group shows at Gallery 25 and had my first solo show there before I moved to Los Angeles to work on my Master’s of Fine Art degree.

I transferred to California State University, Los Angeles in 1976.  I began to develop abstract body imagery from the drawings  I had been doing in Fresno comparing human and cattle anatomy.  My master’s exhibition was based on this theme. The prismacolor  pencil drawings  I created  were abstracted combinations of animal and human forms that glowed  with sensual, fleshy color.

In the 1980’s I felt a need to  reach a deeper understanding of the essential concepts I was trying to express in my work. I eliminated color to concentrate on form alone and produced a series of black and white drawings that can  be interpreted as landscape or body shapes.

The 1990’s was the beginning of more personal and spiritual growth and development. As my notions about the nature of reality broadened, my art became more concerned with universal themes. I studied metaphysics, read about quantum physics, and incorporated these ideas in my artwork.

In 1991 I joined LA Art, a membeship gallery with several locations. I began showing my work regularly in Los Angeles. This led to membership in other galleries such as Long Beach Arts and Gallery 825/LAAA. I  mounted two solo shows and  was included in many juried shows  in Southern California.  I was involved in professional organizations,  like the Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art and the Arroyo Arts Collective.

Through Gallery 825/LAAA,  I met Victoria Taylor Alvarez. She introduced me to site specific installation artwork. It grew in to an new form of expression for me. We created mandalas and installations in exhibits  all over Southern California.

I recently relocated to the Portland, Oregon area. My environment  is vastly different from my environment in Southern California. Our property is ringed by trees and forest on three sides. We are close to rural areas and farms. So, my current work focuses on the energy matrix I find all around me in trees and the natural world.  I hope to open up the viewer’s mind to perceiving this energy matrix and contemplating their role in it. 

I used that inspiration to create an art book for the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project. My next project was a series of paintings, still inspired by the forest that surrounds our house on three sides. I soon realized a similar process to the one I used fro the aura portraits was in effect. The aura portraits I create are enabled by a psychic connection established between me and my subject. Our spirit guides facilitate the transfer of information in the form of colors, shapes, patterns, and clairsentient information.

I took pictures of the trees,and began the work on each piece by looking at a specific photo, but that is where the reliance on the image ended. I found I was compelled to work in quick, energetic bursts of activity, with out any planning or conscious control. The more I just allowed the process to unfold, the better the artwork. It was only after I stood back and looked at the piece as a whole I saw the images I had created. The message  would became clear. I could complete a piece in four or five short sessions, sometime working over a portion of the painting, changing it entirely. Then, suddenly, it was done. I just knew. 

While creating the artwork I was  in communication with the entities and spirits that  roamed the woods. They wandered in and out of the dark spaces and light portals I was depicting in between the trees. They were telling me their stories, and revealing the energy matrix that binds me, the trees, the portals, and all of creation together.