Nathan Ian Anderson

b. Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, 1975.

A photographer, printmaker, and teacher, Nathan has participated in a number of shows nationwide, and is internationally exhibited and collected. He now lives and works in Washington D.C. for the Smithsonian Institution as a photographer and project manager.

Parsons School of Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), 1999.

All images are taken with a large format view camera (Linhoff 4x5, Rodenstock 150mm lens) and shot with Provia 100 film.

Prints are editioned archival pigment prints.

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CoastLine 2013 - 2021

I was born on Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts and grew up on the beaches of Cape Cod where I was always drawn to the area’s radiant light as a photographer. Thrust more than sixty miles into the North Atlantic Ocean and fringed by thousands of acres of tidal marshes, the salt laden air brings a luminosity that is so refractive; sea and sky mirror one another. The horizon line and the coastline have this immutable relationship, fixed yet varied, the sea ends where the sky begins and the interplay between these elemental forces is what I strive to capture. 

Working with a large format film camera coupled with long exposures ranging up to ten minutes, I am often forced to pause and reflect on what one finds on the beach. Things dragged up from the depths, and casually abandoned by the sea, almost as a peace offering to its eternal opposite, the land. But not all things found on beaches are material; some are insubstantial: stories, dreams, and ideas.

Brooklyn Work 2002 - 2010

Gowanus and Red Hook are neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York that were originally zoned for light to heavy manufacturing. Years of neglect and abandonment from the 1970s to the 1990s left the streets and waterfront in disrepair. Dead-end streets abutting the Red Hook waterfront  became magnets for illegal dumping. Abandoned and contaminated, the Gowanus Canal had become a recipient of waste products from industries located along the canal and raw sewage from the adjacent residential neighborhoods.

As a critical lack of affordable housing pushes city residents further and further into these marginalized areas, however, residential communities continue to expand and the Gowanus and Red Hook neighborhoods are on the verge of giving way to upscale gentrification. Since beginning this project in 2002, many of these buildings have been razed or renovated, and my photographs have assumed an historical value. Land use has become a timely issue and my work represents a way of assessing environmental history and our place within it.

Using Format