Shop Etsy

Fresh Shop: Strip Mall Art

Mar 13, 2014

by Nate Katz

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Every day, our community grows in unexpected and delightful ways. For our Fresh Shops series, sellers who have been on Etsy for a handful of months or are waiting for those first few sales introduce themselves. Here’s a warm welcome to all our newbies!

Editor’s note: This post was written by Jeff, Nate’s dad.

Nate Katz is a 23-year-old, self-taught artist who is high-functioning autistic. He graduated with an associate’s degree in graphic design from SUNY-Cobleskill and channels his obsession with strip malls and chain stores of America into drawings that are charming, cheerful, informative, and insightful, all at once. He sells his pieces in his Etsy shop, Strip Mall Art.

strip-mall-02

Nate’s strip mall drawings are drafted  in pen, brought to life with colored pencil, then faux-laminated with yards of Scotch tape. The backs feature another obsession – toilets – and some works are framed in custom-cut Plexiglas, to showcase the back of the art, as well as the front.  Nate’s pieces, like Nate himself, are hard to fit into prepackaged sizes. His work ranges from small, shopping center signboards drawn on magazine subscription cards to 11-foot long pieces.

nate-katz-1-etsyone
nate-katz-3-etsytwo
nate-katz-2-etsythree

Nate sees strip malls, which many of us scorn and dismiss, as beautiful things, deserving of respect, without a hint of irony. His details are fascinating. In some pictures he’s got little men, ant-like black silhouettes, who are doing work on ladders, putting up signs. He has notes to himself, or the viewer (though I’m not sure these works are made with a viewer in mind). He also has timelines reminiscent of Donovan’s “There is a Mountain.” In these, Nate lays out the evolution of a site, from a car dealership to a vacant lot to a new Wal-Mart. The things we see as permanent he knows are transient, and when laid out step by step, are somewhat sad and touching. All the hopes of a business dashed, then forgotten. Nate sees a brighter end, when something new and wonderful emerges.

strip-mall-1

Nate’s drawings have been shown at the Leonard Tourne Gallery in New York City, and in a one-month show at The Smithy Center for the Arts in Cooperstown, New York.

All photos courtesy of Strip Mall Art. For more, check out Strip Mall Art’s About Page.

More Fresh Shops

 

Walgreens Plaza, Schaumburg, IL
Walgreens Plaza, Schaumburg, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
New Strip Mall, Downers Grove, IL
New Strip Mall, Downers Grove, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
McDonald's & Pizzeria, Libertyville, IL
McDonald's & Pizzeria, Libertyville, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
Randhurst Village, Mt. Prospect, IL
Randhurst Village, Mt. Prospect, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Strip Mall, Morton Grove, IL
Strip Mall, Morton Grove, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
Lowe's and Aldi's, Roselle, IL
Lowe's and Aldi's, Roselle, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Fresh Farms Plaza, Wheeling, IL
Fresh Farms Plaza, Wheeling, IL
StripMallArt
$100.00 USD
Home Depot and Target, Deer Park, IL
Home Depot and Target, Deer Park, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Plaza at Potter Road, Des Plaines, IL
Plaza at Potter Road, Des Plaines, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
Taco Bell and McDonald's, Park City, IL
Taco Bell and McDonald's, Park City, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
Walmart Plaza, Kildeer, IL
Walmart Plaza, Kildeer, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Walmart Plaza, Barrington, IL
Walmart Plaza, Barrington, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Walgreens Plaza, Northbrook, IL
Walgreens Plaza, Northbrook, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
The New Shopping Center, Palatine, IL
The New Shopping Center, Palatine, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Target, Prospect Heights, IL
Target, Prospect Heights, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Starbucks and Fresh Market, Mundelein, IL
Starbucks and Fresh Market, Mundelein, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Shopping Center, Prospect Heights, IL
Shopping Center, Prospect Heights, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
North Shore and Sam's Club, Elmhurst, IL
North Shore and Sam's Club, Elmhurst, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
New Plaza on Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, IL
New Plaza on Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Goodwill & Plaza, Buffalo Grove, IL
Goodwill & Plaza, Buffalo Grove, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Inverness Plaza, Inverness, IL
Inverness Plaza, Inverness, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Strip Mall, Bannockburn, IL
Strip Mall, Bannockburn, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Strip Mall, Des Plaines, IL
Strip Mall, Des Plaines, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Fresh Market Plaza, Highwood, IL
Fresh Market Plaza, Highwood, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Petsmart and Five Below, Gurnee, IL
Petsmart and Five Below, Gurnee, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
Former Blockbuster Area, Bannockburn, IL
Former Blockbuster Area, Bannockburn, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
Trader Joe's and Walgreens, Riverwoods, IL
Trader Joe's and Walgreens, Riverwoods, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
Strip Mall, Park City, IL
Strip Mall, Park City, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
McDonald's and Starbucks, Schaumburg, IL
McDonald's and Starbucks, Schaumburg, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
Whole Foods Plaza, Park Ridge, IL
Whole Foods Plaza, Park Ridge, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Walmart Plaza, Rosemont, IL
Walmart Plaza, Rosemont, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Walmart Plaza, Roselle, IL
Walmart Plaza, Roselle, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Walmart Plaza, Poplar Creek, IL
Walmart Plaza, Poplar Creek, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
US Bank and Pizza Hut, Schaumburg, IL
US Bank and Pizza Hut, Schaumburg, IL
StripMallArt
$60.00 USD
The New Shopping Center, Barrington, IL
The New Shopping Center, Barrington, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD
Patriot Center, Glenview, IL
Patriot Center, Glenview, IL
StripMallArt
$120.00 USD

33 comments

Sign in to add your own