Spots Illustrated: Nat Reed’s Modern map of Palm Springs
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If Nat Reed’s ‘Palm Springs Modern’ map evokes memories of traipsing around the Magic Kingdom jacked up on cotton candy, it’s purely intentional. ‘My inspiration was the Disneyland maps,’ said the Los Angeles artist, who weekends in a butterfly-roof midcentury home in the desert. ‘They are certainly not meant to be used for navigation, but to draw you into the Fantasyland of Palm Springs.’
Reed will be selling the 24-by-32-inch map as a signed limited edition giclee print ($250 unframed, $400 framed) along with other prints of his giddy midcentury landscapes at ‘Postfabricated,’ an exhibition at a Palm Springs pop-up shop open Feb. 17-26 as part of the city’s Modernism Week.
The various prints depicting landmarks such as John Lautner’s Garcia House (often called the Rainbow House) and the colonnade at the Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs (a 12-by-20-inch piece, pictured at right, $225 unframed), can also be bought through the Nat Reed website.
Reed grew up in Huntington Beach in the 1960s and 1970s. His maternal grandfather, Eli Hedley, was a tiki carver and interior designer of Polynesian lounges across the U.S. and opened the original Island Trade Store at Disneyland. Reed’s father was a set designer for RKO studios.
Reed began showing work in galleries in 2009 and created a large-scale mural for the Peterson Automotive Museum’s ‘Fantasies in Fiberglass’ exhibition in 2010.
His art is inspired by Modernism as well as Googie, the kitschy Atomic Age style seen in coffee shops and bowling alleys. Fans of the artist Josh ‘Shag’ Agle will recognize a similar sensibility, though Reed has a slightly more psychedelic approach to color and form. He also exercises a surrealistic playfulness, plopping Tiki heads atop human forms and painting poodles in toreador costumes perched on midcentury lounge chairs.
‘My art takes me down a garden path,’ he said, ‘that is a little more contemplative.’
‘Postfabricated’ is on display from noon to 6 p.m. daily at 388 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; (323) 304-8822. An opening reception runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday.
-- David A. Keeps
Illustration credit: Nat Reed