Which I guess all philosophers are to some degree... at the heart of the matter is that Sonnenberg thinks about things a lot, and not in a very traditional sense of the word.
You can almost see the 3-D modeling of concepts being created in the space behind his eyes as he speaks about seemingly simple, everyday things, like traffic. Nate is the type of artist that is committed to exploring and exalting in the process with a relish similar perhaps to a dog digging a hole. It’s not about getting to the center of the earth, but exploring the process that takes you further down the rabbit hole of each creative venture.
Sonnenberg’s work reveals itself most clearly as an exercise in conceptual processes that stem from a fascination with the patterns of daily life. While these patterns remain firmly rooted in the realm of the everyday, the mundane and the commonplace, the result of following them from end to end result in conceptual pieces that challenge the viewer to explore the elements of precision and areas of flux that abstractly illustrate a sense of flow experienced by all, but observed by few.
Sonnenberg weaves together everyday events that show process and expose patterns, creating exuberant, life-affirming paintings that speak to the man behind the canvas and the thought behind each stroke. The results illustrate the sheer power of focus in following a singular line of thought through from beginning to end with definition and purpose. With all this talk of focus, purpose and process, it may seem easy to overlook one of the most essential measures of Sonnenberg’s work, which is that of pure uncertainty and surprise. Upon first glance, each gesture appears perfectly calculated, straight and measured to perfection, but with closer inspection, the viewer is rewarded with wobbles of paint that flow freely, creating an uncontrollable flow that frequently surprises even the artist himself, but is reliably built in as a deliberate part of his process. It is this very sense of freedom that sets Sonnenberg apart, this willingness to control, to shape, to define, then to let it all go and be what it will be.