“The subjects of these paintings are meant to be elevated and beatific and at the same time buffoonish and absurd. In my childhood home was a woodcut of a bearded Walt Whitman. When I was a kid, this simple image with its triangle nose and series of dashes for a beard loomed large. It looked just like my dad, and in my head, the image was both God and father, which at the time were the same thing. My work deals with this kind of elevated personage and its frailty. The scale of these pared-down heads is small and unheroic, yet the statue-like figures appear monumental. They are at once aspirational and dumb, specific and general. 

Lately the men in my paintings appear less self-aware and less anxious. Many of their eyes are closed as if at rest, deep in thought, or perhaps they are dead.”

—Nat Meade, 2018