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The Artist

Your first encounter with Nathaniel Bustion through his art leaves you with an extraordinarily profound sense of beauty. Not beauty in the popular sense, the superficial, but a deeper inner realization that what you have experienced is at once a totally revolutionary expression, and yet older than history.

He overpowers your senses. He teases your curiosity and then politely destroys all the cliches that have crept into your consciousness over the centuries of "civilization." His work has a space and time all its own, but more importantly, it possesses a feeling that compels a person feet-first into the future ... with a rush!

Much like a fine wine, it consumes you. You find yourself lingering forever on the edge of something spiritual that inexplicably pulls its strength from the sweat, the joy, sorrow, the rhythm, the fear, the discoveries and heartbreaks of reality.


In an age when so many are lost in a maze of appointments and schedules, Nathaniel's work is timeless. It sets you free...Almost. You have to go back for more. In an age when so many are lost in a maze of appointments and schedules, Nathaniel's work is timeless. It sets you free...Almost. You have to go back for more.

Bustion is a graduate of Otis Art Institute, where he received a M.F.A. degree. He also studied at Colorado State University and Belgium Antwerp Academy.

He also traveled to many other parts of the world. These experiences are expressed in his work. His sculptures and prints are steeped in traditional African and Ancient Kemet (Egypt) as well as many global influences.

Nathaniel's art expression is addressed to all people, using all our culture as a model. He hopes in each work that there is an interaction of elements showing the need for all of us to come together as one, united both by the art and the artist. Bustion states,

"Society must respect and acknowledge the importance of the various cultures before we can become a universal culture -- something we have always been and forgot and gave up along the journey. The challenge our ethics are embedded in our aesthetics. The universe and nation is the Artwork. We are the Artists."

  Bustion's philosophy is guided by the voices of the ancestors as they pray in tongues long forgotten, his sense of the metaphysical world for which intuition is most important.

Through his expressive art, he has challenged prescribed notion, the status quo found in art arenas by exploring political and social inequities. He has done so without sacrificing his aesthetic focus. It was a courageous task of devotion to allow him to become a living vessel, a journey, a sort of visionary referee; who would choose to interpret through his studio practice, the penetration complexities of the African American Cosmic Legacy.

Although unacceptable to popular mainstream journals, Nathaniel "Sonny" Bustion is a pioneer who has become one of the pivotal "architects" responsible for the construction of a vital and authentic aesthetic that seats well in an African universal sensibility and tradition.


At home in his Altadena Foothills studio of California, Bustion created primarily in clay and bronze, built his own kiln and for more than fifty years performed intense experiments with glazes and hand clay forming. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally, as an artist he has achieved and created works of stunning beauty and power in clay, bronze, oil, watercolor, glazes and other mediums.

Bustion created these series of artworks and his book for his people. Yet it is a gift of love for all those that it reaches. Blessed sisters Nedra Mydricks and S.P. Sharp.

Eugene Brooks
John Outterbridge

Résumé and Experience

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