According to the artist, his work is a material reaction to his experiences with mental health, disability, religion, and labor. The result is wide-spanning, unexpected, serious, and funny; it creates a tornado-style penetrating path not only into the artist’s mind but also slices through contemporary obsessions such as banality, spirituality, abstraction of language and symbols, formal hermeticism, openness, playfulness, ritual and transformation, class and religion, sexuality and synthetic duality of masculinity in particular.
A unifying single physical element in this show is the used mover’s blanket. In the artist’s vision, the simple everyday object is elevated into a piece of art as in the Cinderella fairy tale, without losing its humble blue-collar origins. The blankets come in different colors and some variations can be found in their patterns, but apart from that, they are pretty much the same standardized industrial products, without individuality. However, as used moving blankets, physical traces of sweat, stain, and tears suggest spiritual transformation similar to the shroud of Turin, from trashy to the divine.
The Moving Spirit or An Appreciation of Labor consists of eleven wall pieces. The main gallery presents seven large tapestries; the definition is preferred by the artist for pictorial and spiritual reasons and allusions. European tapestries were objectified paintings, simultaneously expensive time-consuming multi-team decorative productions similar to Persian carpets, but depicting important events of the day comparable to Pixar / animated films of today. Nick Fagan’s tapestries are visually abstract, but they are not passive decorations-they are almost aggressions. They have the aura and importance of mythological grand themes of the renaissance and baroque. The feeling is eerily similar to Abstract Expressionism’s choice of existential themes interspersed with funky Dadaist echos as tiny devils gliding and viciously squirming around the artist in the inner sanctum previously occupied by myth paintings. His work is grounded in drawing practices and in sculptural processes of subtraction and addition, and fondness of found objects with already embedded spirit.