Reuben Paterson’s confident use of glitter, diamond dust, pattern, and form establishes him as one of a new generation of significant Maori artists.
Natural recalls the work of American artist Andy Warhol in its use of diamond dust – said to be among Warhol's favourite materials. It also references the optical patterns of British painter Bridget Riley. In paying tribute to these artists, the work highlights the influence of international art trends on contemporary Maori art.
Paterson created Natural during an artist’s residency in Queenstown. The work’s ‘starburst’ pattern, he says, is like a map of the spiritual residue of the Ngai Tahu people – the original people of the region.
This text was prepared for the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, December 2011.