Artist’s Preview: “Whitewash,” Patricia Aaron, April 19th through June 1st, 2013, Space Gallery.
Graffiti has always fascinated acclaimed artist Patricia Aaron. The richly-layered patina of street art has thrived as an engaging and creative method of mass communication which predates the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. It’s an alluring and seductive language that’s been the basis of over twenty years of research for Aaron, a painter and sculptor deeply fascinated with the phenomenon of rogue art as historical record. The highly individualized wildstyle fonts and characters street artists painstakingly create for tagging inform Aaron’s mark-making. The pointed political and social commentaries of street art imbue her work with energy and mood. The vibrant murals executed by graffiti artists, later appropriated by “biters” who add their own expansive elements to reclaim the territory, combine into one glorious cacophony for Aaron, and these visual elements keep her feverishly producing top-notch work with specialized inks and pigmented encaustics on panels.
The explosive colors, Hip-Hop momentum and on-the-fly compositions of Graffiti provide Patricia Aaron the inspiration she needs to continue on her artistic journey, but Patricia’s desire to create is equally matched by her desire to keep her curious mind exploring. Researching the hidden language of street art on a global scale allows Aaron the chance to delve into regional stylistic and cultural specifics during her travels, and she always leaves with her finger on the true pulse of a place by searching beyond the banal façades and beaten pathways of tourist attractions.
Aaron’s intellectual passion for rogue art dovetailed perfectly with her adventurous spirit during a recent journey to Key West, Florida. Vivid sunsets, pastel hued gingerbread mansions and coral reefs brimming with kaleidoscopic life may have played small supporting roles in the formation of these new pieces, but Aaron really struck a creative spark when she departed touristy Duval Street for the wilder side of Key West: the hidden alleys, underpasses and schoolyards of this southernmost mariner’s mecca. The result is a collection of six new and powerful encaustic paintings, entitled “Whitewash,” for her April 19th group show debut as a new member of Space Gallery, located on South Santa Fe Drive in Denver.
Clarity of vision seems to be a key ingredient in Aaron’s new work. There are three paintings in particular within the new “Whitewash” series that successfully pull the essence of her journey to Key West tightly into focus. “Ohio,” which served as Aaron’s departure point for her trip to Florida, is a sublime interplay of tone and texture, with pigeon gray, chalk blue, glints of turquoise, and a vast swath of citron supporting a celebratory punctuation of brilliant pyrrole red. Aaron successfully explores texture as a timeline reference in the lowest third of “Ohio” as well, by boring holes through countless layers of encaustic, and the effect is tactile and intriguing. Two more home runs are “Southernmost,” where Aaron effortlessly pulls off a glorious storm of energy in orange, and “Rip Tide,” which perfectly balances weightlessness in composition and luscious coloration with several exuberant passages of visceral mark-making. “Whitewash” is yet another strong showing by this talented contemporary artist, and a great introduction to her new partnership with Michael Burnett and Space Gallery.
“Whitewash,” featuring six new works by Patricia Aaron, runs as part of a larger group show at Space Gallery, 765 Santa Fe Drive, from April 19th through June 1st, 2013. Opening reception with Patricia Aaron in attendance is Friday April 19th, from 6PM to 9PM. More information at www.patriciaaaron.com.
-C. Fox, Artist and Fine Arts Writer, Feb.2013.