“I wanted more than salvation. I wanted to be in the belly of the whale,” Don Nace states in Drawn Out, a collection of raw and lyrical drawings that illustrate the story of a man’s life, from a childhood dominated by the tragic loss of a father, through the agonizing and euphoric process of self-discovery to love, marriage, and fatherhood. The lines bind together fear and joy into the cloth that lets the artist dress after being stripped naked by the daily events of being alive.
If the skyscrapers and cathedrals of New York were dumped into the Canyonlands of Utah the resulting chaos would resemble Nace’s human figures. Drawn Out simultaneously captures the landscapes of New York City and the American southwest, animating the limbs of his characters with the crowded frenzy of New York’s gray canyon streets while showcasing the wide plains and big sky of the desert in his black and white scrawls. Within an 8.5 x 11 frame, Nace’s work relates the wide-open expanses of loneliness and the tight wire coils of alienation that expand and constrict the hearts of everyone.