My core practice is large scale site-specific wall painting with related works on paper and canvas. The work is a synthesis of three distinct practices: comics, collage, and muralism (both traditional and spraycan). The superhero comics of the sixties and seventies were my first aesthetic training ground. As a fan, collector and wannabe pro-cartoonist I became conversant with the extraordinarily dynamic and seductive vocabulary of ink line rendering techniques developed by a group of brilliant, mostly working class, mid-century cartoonists including Wallace Wood, Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Gene Colan, and the towering figure of Jack Kirby, whose exaggeration and abstraction of the human form paved the way for the deeply fetishistic superhero comics drawn by a later generation in the ‘90s. It was in these decadent late comics, first published by Image and drawn by Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Jae Lee, Todd MacFarlane and others, that I recognized an erotic flowering of the sublimated passions of superhero fandom. The old moral universe had disappeared, along with the old human body, along with the old well-crafted narrative. Only the obsessively detailed depiction of power, terror, and physical extremity remained. The comics, no longer a mass culture disposable, but now increasingly sold only in specialty shops affectively identical to adult bookstores, had become a Bataillean pleasure kingdom.
Aaron was born in 1961 and recently moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles. He is the cofounder of the Clarion Alley Mural Project in San Francisco, where he was director from 1996 until 2001. He has created murals on a police guard post in Taiwan, on a private residence in Los Angeles, and, in collaboration with Andrew Schoultz, on an exterior wall on Sixteenth Street near Third Street in San Francisco. Other mural and wall-painting projects include the Theatre Rhinoceros Lobby; Superhero Warehouse on the exterior of 47 Clarion Alley, in collaboration with Rigo 00; the Labor Temple lobby, San Francisco, and has created site specific murals for the Hammer Museum.
b. 1961 Portland, OR
Lives in Los Angeles, CA.
1981-82 San Francisco Art Institute
The Boogie, Synchronicity Space, Los Angeles, CA. (2012)
At Work in the Egg Fields, 39 Hotel, Honolulu, HI. (2009)
with Greg LaMarche, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA. (2010)
with Yoon Lee, 101 California. San Francisco, CA. (2006)
with Andy Schoultz, Track 16, Santa Monica, CA. (2003)
with Craig Kucia, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA. (2002)
Mojado, East Hollywood, CA. (2012)
Saladin, Culver City, CA. (2010, Destroyed)
Beijing Progress Mound, Factory 798, Beijing, China. (2006, Destroyed)
Spire, Corner of Hoxton Sq and Mundy St; London, England. (2004)
Reedsport Skatepark Mural, Reedsport, OR. (2004)
Mata Hari, Permata Bioskop,Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (2003)
KABBOOMM, collaboration with Rigo 23, Clarion Alley, San Francisco, CA. (2003, Destroyed)
Generator, collaboration with Andrew Schoultz, 18th and Lexington Streets, San Francisco, CA. (2002)
China Basin Mural, collaboration with Andrew Schoultz, 3rd and Illinois Streets, San Francisco, CA. (2001, Destroyed)
UCLA Hammer Museum Contemporary Collection
New York Public Library
Chazen Museum, University of Wisconsin,
Davis Museum, Wellesley College
Hood Museum, Dartmouth College
Smith College Museum of Art
Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University
Awards & Residencies
Headlands Center for the Arts Sam & Adele Golden Residency, 2009.
Smith College Print Workshop artist in residence, 2005.
California Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, 1992.
Dwight Pogue, Printmaking Revolution, Watson-Guptill, 2012.
Walls & Frames: Fine Art from the Streets, Gestalten, 2011.
Hammer Projects 1999-2009, Hammer Museum/ D.A.P., 2009.
Street Art San Francisco, Harry N. Abrams, 2009.
Hi-Fructose, Magazine feature, Fall 2007.
Beautiful/Decay, Magazine cover feature, Feb. 2006.
The Guardian (UK), Pick of the Week, November 8 and weekly guide November 13-19, 2004.
Sam Chennault, Graffiti to Gallery, article on Andrew Schoultz, SF Weekly, September 1, 2004.
Glen Helfand, The Mission School, San Francisco Bay Guardian, May 12, 2002.
Alice Hutchison, Review of Hammer Project, Contemporary, May 2002.
Rebecca Solnit, Hollow City, Verso, 2001.
The Clarion Alley Mural Project and misc. short pieces. Street Art San Francisco, H. Abrams, 2009.
Scott Williams and the Fake World. Scott Williams, Catalog essay, San Francisco Art Institute, 2005.