Anyone who is familiar with the history of Cult Status knows Nate Vincent Szklarski.  For those who don’t, here is a primer: CSG would not be in existence without him.  I contacted Nate through MySpace in 2008 after researching MPLS street art and coming across the MPLS Deth Crew page.  I had a little gallery in St. Louis Park and asked him to mount a show.  Needless to say, we kept working together after that, and now, 5 years later almost to the day, Nate is ready for a solo show.

Ever the introvert, Nate’s work is very introspective and intimate.  As an aspiring tattoo artist, he is heavily influenced by classic tattoo motifs, yet his recognizable style is all his own.  Inspired from tattoo flash, his fine art work consists of ink and watercolor drawings on watercolor paper.  Sometimes, he etches the paper with a tattoo machine. He uses his skill, precision and knowledge of tattoo art to inform his adroit command of his medium, watercolor being the most difficult of all painting mediums, in my opinion.

In his own words, “Some key points I want made is that the art created was fueled by drunkenness and sadness. It’s going to be a very personal show. Really depressing. I guess I am kind of wearing my heart on my sleeve for this one.”  Nate is no stranger to heartbreak, and this series reveals an artist no longer struggling with technique, but with inner demons.

Join us for this very special opening reception Saturday, January 26th, 7:00-1:00.

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Opening reception 6-12

with DJ Misses McFeely

Sponsored by 2Gingers Irish Whiskey

If you have ever been to Brit’s, Kieran’s, or The Local in Minneapolis, then you have seen John Erste’s work. I first met john in 2002, shortly after purchasing my condo. I was in my alley at 3am, and John was shoveling. I introduced myself, and we quickly realized we had a lot in common, including art. He worked at Kieran’s and also Apropos, the art house where several of my friends have put in time over the years.

Horse Race mural at Brit’s.

We became great friends, and showed together in a group show in 2008 at the NKB Gallery for a Shannyn Joy Potter-curated exhibition entitled ’11 on 18,’ and again a few months later for ‘VD09,’ in which John began his series of cute animals in ‘compromising’ positions.  A bunny orgy and a Bambi with an inviting rear end were his piéce de résistance.

His juxtaposition of cute with evil, sugar with blood, toys with guns, are his themes these days.  His humor always shining through at the end of the day, does not diminish his incredible painterly skill set.  He paints large, most of his pieces are larger than 4′x4′, and most of them depict animals and nature in with a bit of humanity mixed in.


Big Joe, acrylic on panel, 4′x4′, 2005

Trees, acrylic on panel, 6′x4′, 2009

John is not ‘in’ the art scene here.  He prefers to remain under the radar, quietly producing paintings in his studio between shifts at the Local.  He has murals all over the city in unexpected places, many of them attributal to Apropos.  He worked on the Herkimer mural with me as well.  He has shown work nationwide, and he is finally ready for his big solo debut at CSG!


Cult Status Gallery is proud to present Crude, a solo exhibition of new work by John Erste. Please Join us on Saturday December 8th from 6pm – 12 , for the exhibition opening and to meet the artist.

Erste refers to ‘Crude’ as a reference to humans’ dependency on oil. The works depict the struggle of the environment from the human need to create and maintain a plastic world.

Crude delves into the correlation of our drive for oil that has disastrous effects on the natural environment. The works explores the idea of the human race as invasive species and the destruction that comes from it as we spread further and further into the natural world.

John Erste is a Minneapolis based artist, illustrator and muralist who has contributed many public works over the past 20 years. Known for his murals in such place as Britʼs Pub, Kieranʼs Irish Pub, Jimmyʼs Bar and Lounge, The Herkimer and Target Field just to name a few.

Through Dec 23rd.  Hours TBD.

Facebook Invite Here