In Urban Scrawl(2013), I sought to uncover a new form of self-expression, a language that found its roots in graffiti but became something else entirely. I layered encaustic and street-artist ink, carving and splattering the surfaces of my canvasses to juxtapose thriving cities and broken landscapes, spare beginnings and elaborate ends. The result was a vibrant montage of textures, strokes, and colors—an abstracted reflection of the chaotic and dynamic scenes that were the impetus behind this work.
As an ardent observer, I drew inspiration from my taxi rides over the Manhattan Bridge—the deafening noise of a hundred different languages, the massive warehouses covered in colorful tags, and the wild, raw feeling of crossing into a new world. I remembered the beautiful, sprawling cacophony of South Africa, the jarring disconnect between dilapidated shantytowns and shiny new BMW dealerships, the effusive energy that filled the air. I looked back on the boarded-up farm steads and dilapidated steel mills I’ve encountered on trail rides and road trips, the imagery of crumbling concrete and weather-worn billboards—not urban, yet covered in graffiti, as if the life of the city was somehow leaking into the broken-down landscape.
My three previous series, Youngstown, Honest Work, and Whitewash, laid the foundation for Scrawl, which combines the brilliant colors, grid system, and bold, loose lines of its predecessors to create an entirely new perspective. Scrawl is another step forward in the push and pull between my materials and my intentions, but the discordance exposes a common denominator; whether you’re in a metropolis exploding with energy or in an atrophying rural landscape, there will always be graffiti. It is a universal language, the embodiment of deep-seated unrest, of hope, of frustration, and of the undying desire for emancipation. It is a voice that wants to be heard, a medium that can turn any rusted surface into a work of art.
In the end, that’s what Urban Scrawl is meant to be; an undeniable expression of self, a challenge and an invitation, a mark I make on the world.
For information on current show listings please see my blog at www.patriciaaaron.com
Patricia Aaron has exhibited both regionally and nationally during the past 25 years. Nationally Aaron shows at Williams and Joseph Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Water Street Gallery, Douglas, MI. In Colorado, Aaron's home state she has exhibited at Center for Visual Arts at Metropolitan State College (CVA) Denver, CO, Regis University O’Sullivan Art Gallery, Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities, Curtis Arts and Humanities Center, Loveland Museum, Madden Museum of Art, Museum of Outdoor Arts, Republic Plaza, Western Center for the Arts, Spark Gallery, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, University of Denver Myhren Gallery, Sandra Phillips Gallery, Space Gallery, 910 Arts Center, Translations Gallery and Ice Cube Gallery.
Aaron has also exhibited nationally in California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, Michigan, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Georgia, New Mexico, and Nebraska. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections.
Public art commissions include work for the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood, IGW Records in Littleton, CO and the Tobacco Free Kids Campaign in Washington D.C.
Aaron has been awarded Artist fellowships at Ucross Foundation, Ucross, WY, Museum of Outdoor Arts (MOA) in Englewood, CO, Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado; Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, VA
Aaron’s work was awarded Best of Show at This is Colorado art exhibit at the Madden Museum of Art 2011 for her painting, Youngstown, circa 1966. She was also the recipient of an Honorable Mention at the Best of 2011 Art District of Santa Fe, Denver, COand Juror’s Choice Award at the All Colorado exhibit at Curtis Arts and Humanities Center, Greenwood Village, CO. Patricia placed as a Finalist in the Abstract and Experimental category in The Artist’s Magazine 28th Annual National Competition.
Aaron holds a M.F.A. degree from University of Denver School of Art and Art History and a B.S. degree from University of Maryland, Heidelberg, Germany.
Gallery representation includes: William and Joseph Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Water Street Gallery, Douglas MI and Space Gallery, Denver, CO. Publications include Colorado Abstract Sculptures and Paintings published by Fresco Publishers, Albuquerque New Mexico 2009, American Art Collector 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, Southwest Art Magazine and The Artist’s Magazine.