How to make a map by Jonathas Nazareth

I wrote this poem right before I began working on Land. Stay tuned for a video recapping and 360º tour of the opening.

Maps 09/24/16

How to make a map.

My desire is to collect all things that make up the landscape of who I am, and the world I live in today. Territories, peoples and governments are so unstable. We know the planet is round; we explore and exploit the sea, the earth, the sky, the stars, the multiverse, the ever expanding cosmic force. The little we know and little is known of how much we’ve yet to know. My map as a kid was limited to the sounds of my parents whistles in the Areal. Thais and I could play anywhere, as long as we were within the reach of their sound. They would walk to the front wall of the yellow house, past the avocado and saputi trees and they would whistle. I didn’t always know where Thais was, but I knew that like me, she was running home. We sometimes ran into each other along the way.

Change came. Territories were different. Memory became the territory for home. Lines, boundaries being crossed and remade, expanding, contracting, rules of our invasion stamped on our passport pages. Hiding, always hiding, hiding until you forget where you’re from. Hiding in your elementary school class, at the doctor’s office, at your best friend’s 12th birthday party. I was not of this land until a green piece of plastic made it my own.

The map of the world. A shift in care. Similar stories everywhere. Told by veils that sink and shoes that float. We can’t all fit on this boat. How do you swim in oil? On which side of the line is this rock? Once we forged ahead in full speed only to go a bit too far. To make maps when nothing is left, what will we want to own? How do you map space and the stars? Who will own the void? How will we remember home?

Where do we go from here?  

Solo Exhibition by Jonathas Nazareth

Very excited to share my first solo exhibition- I've been working on it for a little over a year now and I would love it if you could come check it out! 

The Department of Visual and Critical Studies and Flatiron Project Space present “Land”, an exhibition of recent works by Jonathas Nazareth (BFA Visual and Critical Studies, SVA 2014). The exhibition, running from August 3rd-25th, will have an opening reception on Tuesday August 8th, 2017 from 6:00-9:00, with an artist’s talk at 6:30 PM. The artist has provided the following statement about his work:

Where do we go from here?

I was listening to “Land,” from Patti Smith’s album “Horses” while I rummaged through the basement of the Strand in search of an old book that I could use as a sketchbook. While Patti serendipitously sang the words, “there is no land but the land, no sea, but the sea, there is no keeper of the key…” I came across a 1970 world Atlas. I noticed that some of the territories were different; their names, borders, and political systems had changed since then, yet the land itself remained the same. Why were the forms that delineated each body so abstract and seemingly arbitrary? You could look at the land as a whole, or you could accept the imaginary lines drawn into it. In the midst of such environmental, political, and economical disquiet, how is it that the configuration of these lines, forms, and colors (an exercise of the arts) informed so much of human experience today? These questions helped me create this body of work that looks at the transitory systems that govern the fate of the once-permanent land. 

for further information: 

Flatiron Project Space - 133/141 west 21st street




For Baby Jonah by Jonathas Nazareth

Quero tudo dessas horas

Aparte feito  breve

Que os dias passem mais rápidos

Que o sol faça seu trajeto

Em meios dias

O caminhar um pouco mais

Apressado, no ritmo do coração

Quero viver pouco nesses dias

Comer e estar a mesa com bons amigos

Por questão de centésimos de momentos

E que todo esse tempo passado

Desabe em mim

Ao primeiro colo,

Fazendo-o eterno.

A Derrota by Jonathas Nazareth

A Derrota
Quando a derrota é recente,
A mente se espalha e o corpo
Tenta conter a vida
Quando a recém derrotada se ergue
Espalha a poeira de sua derrota
Nos móveis da sala
Sem lembrança ou pensamento
De sua batalha, não o faz mais
Se deita e se arrepende
Quando a memória de sua
Derrota a toma
A derrota novamente

DEATH (ALL CAPS) by Jonathas Nazareth


The trump card

The would, could, cans end 

The will is not

Left in the small crevices 

The dark humor of grief

The taste of all changed

The lack of taste

Abrupt and unfriendly

Un-ritualistic, unlike us

Asks too much and

Takes it all

Eyes too dry to swallow 

The inability to blink 

The dread of 

the additional days

left to us. 


Domir Mal by Jonathas Nazareth

Quando eu durmo mal
me acorda a vida a boca
meu peito corre
e meus ouvidos quentes de sangue
escutam os sons dos carros distantes

Quando eu durmo mal
A vida me acorda na ressaca
Me lembra tudo que a fiz, 
E tudo que hei de lhe pedir perdao

Quando eu durmo mal
Me rejeita ate
o continuar a dormir

Passo o dia fora de mim,
Sento a sala calado e inquieto
Esperando a luz se fazer dia

A little bit of progress by Jonathas Nazareth

Working on a book cover based on Latin American stories, I am still concepting some abstract maps. On the right, a large painting in progress that came out of the drawings below. I normally stay away from oil paints, but I am in love with how this painting is looking.  



A Drawing of what's left by Jonathas Nazareth

 Before  After a little bit of watercolor


After a little bit of watercolor


This drawing was made on the back of the paper pad, I drenched it in water, then with a knife blade lighted etched into the surface, bathed it again in India ink and water. It makes it look like an etching, but it's just a drawing and the darker tones are due to the scratched surface.  

4x6 inches India ink and watercolor on cardboard 


Surrender by Jonathas Nazareth

The thought
What ought
And your will
Surrender the times you cried
Any desire to heal
Surrender your strength
Every shred, every ounce, every length
Surrender the dark of night
The light filled day
The wetness of the sea
And the heat of the sun
Surrender the justice
For the unfair
The traumas the bruises
To the loss of air
Surrender to the weight
Of your eyelids, to the knot
In your throat
To the stones that sit on your chest
Surrender the hope
Surrender to the shortness of breath
Surrender the sounds of words spoken
And of those left unsaid
Surrender to the tip-tap
On the window of your head
And the thump-a-Thump
From the ceiling above
Surrender to the drops of red
The ones you shed to no end
Surrender your desire to mend.
Surrender to what he or she said
To what they think
And to being in a rut
Surrender above all
to the fear in your gut.

O Perdão by Jonathas Nazareth

O Perdão vem no ônibus circular da manhã
Com o destino de Angra a Paraty, toma assento
Nos bancos de trás, com os que procuram a
Shangri-lá. Na brisa que vem só da estrada longa, ao som de Caetano e Tom Zé,
Do radinho de pilha de um filho qualquer,
Fica lá, O Perdão escutando a quem o quer.

Forgiveness comes on the early bus from Angra to Paraty,
it takes its place in the rear,
Next to those seeking Shangri-la.
It enjoys the breeze that comes only from hitting the long road, 
listening to the sweet songs by Caetano and Tom Zé
off a battery powered radio playing in someone's back pack.
It sits in peace, staring out into the trees waiting for anyone who'll ask.

Otherness by Jonathas Nazareth

Otherness, the other, the other self, the divided self, the unity, harmony, disharmony, the enemy, the friend, the other, other, other, other, another, other. 

After this election, I can't help but think of how afraid we are of otherness, interpersonally, and deep within ourselves. A while back I began to paint on my photographs, especially the ones I had taken as self-portraits, these were the most recent two. I have been re-reading R.D. Laing's the Divided Self, and trying to make sense of my notes. The relationship to the other, the need for the other, where identity is found. 

These have been quiet days of reflection, rage, and exploration. More to come on this. 

An Additional Landscape by Jonathas Nazareth

I wanted to post some of the drawings from my sketchbook, and some of the work currently on my wall. I am fascinated by how the landscape has changed in my work, and how it is allowing me to explore so many questions about perspective, figure, line, and time. This is a follow up post to my previous one for my Marfa Trip. 

From Marfa, With Love by Jonathas Nazareth

Lucas and I went on a road trip to Marfa in October. We flew into Albuquerque, NM and drove to Marfa, stopping in Roswell, Carlsbad, and Van Horn. We were both curious (Lucas much than I was) about Marfa, and what that strange art community in the middle of nowhere looked like. When we returned, we drove through El Paso, stopping at White Sands National Park. 

I was so in love with the landscape in Texas and New Mexico. Seeing the flatness of the land and the mountains really changed my work recently. It has also changed/expanded some of the questions I have about line and perspective. It has deeply influenced the landscapes I played around with before, but recently have made a huge come back into the landscape of my thoughts. Below are some of my favorite photos, all shot on Matilda the Nikon, my trusty 35 mm camera. 

Visual AIDS by Jonathas Nazareth

This was my submission piece to Visual AIDS 2017- Post Cards from the edge. I became involved with HIV/AIDS back in 2007 when I worked on a documentary that explores how HIV/AIDS orphans lived in Thailand, Uganda, Brazil, and the USA called Tiny Tears. I later became a camp counselor for Camp Dreamcatcher in Philadelphia, a summer retreat for kids who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Camp quickly became an important place for me, and every year I return is always an unique experience. I am a co-counselor for the 5-7 year old boys, and we have an amazing group of young guys. I missed camp for the last two years due to work, but I am still part of their ongoing outreach and teen leadership programs. 

I was walking into a building on 26th street and I saw the open call, and it felt compelled to do it. Maybe it was a desire to reconnect with my camp family, though quietly in my studio. The postcard is a format I really love, so it was a fun experience to create and submit. 

 The Boy at the Edge of the World, Acrylic on Paper, 6x4 inches. 

The Boy at the Edge of the World, Acrylic on Paper, 6x4 inches.