Local artist’s aim to spread positivity

Not all art has to be political or have some sort of deep commentary on current events.

Sometimes, it’s enough that it makes the people who view it happy.

This is the view of Nathan Sanan, a local hobby artist whose vibrant and colourful work can be seen all around East London, whether on the side of buildings or sidewalk walls.

“I’ve never wanted to use my art, my hobby, as a tool for commentary,” said Sanan.

“I’d rather use it to combat negativity.

“I try to combat that default negativity by creating some mindless beauty for people to unite under, to relate to, to provoke some form of happy memories or thoughts.”

As he’s quick to point out, art is not Sanan’s main drive.

“Architecture is what informs my life, it is my passion,” he said.

Sanan works for Imbono FJA Architects.

“They [architecture and art] inform each other,” he said.

“Architecture is a rigid process, it’s all about restrictions; art is all about freedom.”

His choice of medium, spraypaint, also helps inform his choice of subjects.

“I paint a lot of birds because the textures you can get with spraypaint makes the feathering really easy to achieve,” he said.

No matter where or what he’s painting, Sanan said his intention was always to try and push back against negativity and bring some joy to people who viewed his work.

“Just because I have the ability to paint, doesn’t mean my point of view needs to be heard by anyone.

“It doesn’t make me any more right than someone who can’t paint,” he said.

Sanan’s work can be seen on his Instagram.


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