New American Paintings/Blog


Hirsute Pursuits: Aaron Smith at Sloan Fine Art by openstudiospress

Aaron Smith, Chopsy, 2011 | Oil on panel, 28 x 24 inches. Courtesy Sloan Fine Art, New York.

Upon examining his work, one can only imagine that Los Angeles-based painter Aaron Smith is somewhat of a romantic. His thick, impastoed brushstrokes in oil, when combined with his nostalgic 19th-century era figures, deeply recall the gesture-heavy application of the Post-Impressionists imbued with a freshness (and palette) that is altogether contemporary.

A connoisseur of whiskers in his own right (he rocks a mean curly mustache), Smith fills his canvases with images of men belonging to another time. However, his approach to representation—which is simultaneously direct and abstracted—takes these characters from the past and fervently pulls them into the present, primarily through his use of color. Using a palette that could be culled from the Fauvists, Smith’s otherwise brooding men are brightly colored, flipping ideas of masculinity on their pastel heads.

More beards, and pics from his solo show at Sloan Fine Art, after the jump!  —Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

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