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Episode 13: Art Without Rules

Nate HillTom talks with artist Nate Hill about his playful and sometimes controversial performances.

Nate began his artistic career with a series of “New Animals,” taxidermy sculptures of the fantastic creatures that populate his imaginary animal kingdom.

More recently, Nate’s work has combined performance and public engagement. He has offered free “bouncy rides” to passengers of the NYC subway system, made house calls to take away objects that trigger painful memories in their owners, and encouraged frustrated strangers to punch him in the chest.


Listen to Episode 3 Episode 13: Art Without Rules

Listen to Episode 3 Death Bear Goes Visiting: A CNC Short

Image Gallery

 View imagesimage #2 image #3image #4image #5image #6 image #7image #8image #9image #10 of some of the pieces discussed in this episode.

About Our Guest

Nate has been creating challenging works in unusual mediums since 2007.  His projects have included: New AnimalsCandy Crack Delivery Service, Death Bear, and, most recently, Punch Me Panda. He lives and works in New York City.

Resources is your first stop for information about Nate’s work. You’ll find images, artist statements, links to press coverage and more. You can also follow Nate on twitter.

Punch Me Panda

Audio recorded by WNYC at Bushwick Barbershop in Brooklyn:

The Wall Street Journal recently blogged about Punch Me Panda. The story includes photographs and a documentary short.

Punch Me Panda has also been featured in The Uptowner.

Mr. Dropout

Video of Mr. Dropout by An Xiao.

You can find an archive of Mr. Dropout’s tweets on the Young Manhattanite blog.

Mr. Dropout has been featured on several arts blogs, including Art21, Hyperallergic, and All That We’ve Met.

Death Bear

Death Bear Gets Sad So You Don’t Have To, video by Mary Plummer.

Death Bear has been featured in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and

Candy Crack Delivery Service

Nate Hill, Candy Crack Delivery ServiceAs the artist explains: “This is make-believe for adults pretending to be children pretending to be adults. Instead of cops and robbers, we play drug dealer and junkie. It’s the ‘theater of the drug dealer’ but created from the imaginary mind of a 6-year old.

Candy Crack is a real make-believe drug. It’s like children in a tree house (not crack house) pretending to sell drugs. It’s peddled in a neighborhood where you don’t have to grow up, so it makes sense that we are pretending to be kids doing the bad things that adults do. No one wants to get old, but no one wants to be just a kid. With Candy Crack you can have it both ways.”

The New York Daily News covered the performance.  As he states in our interview, Nate feels that the reporter failed to convey the artist’s intentions, relying instead on a single out-of-context quote.

Free Bouncy Rides

One of many YouTube videos documenting Nate’s Free Bouncy Rides performances:


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