Aaron Smith is fascinated with art history. Or maybe he's just fascinated by all the strange gewgaws and memorabilia that litter the walls and glass cases of out local art museums. Whatever the reason, it is these objects, primarily sculpted pieces, that form the main subject of his paintings. His choices are eclectic, from from east and west, religious and secular, ornate and modest, but all from a distant enough past to contrast markedly with his interpretive approach. His paintings are large, aggressive and expressionistic. A wild array of colors are mixed and mangled together, sometimes just to render the neutral gray of clay or stone. The brushwork is frenetic and, like a good jazz musician in the midst of a furious solo, always right on the edge of failure. Not failing is the key to it's visceral appeal, and a broken note here or there can sometimes touch deeper than perfect pitch.
Some earlier portrait work from a few years back provide a nice back story to the newer works, showing where all this frenzied brushwork came from; a confident but more careful exploration of light on skin. See more at his website: aaronsmithart.com
"Chippy" 28" x 28" oil on panel 2008
"Parade" 48" x 36" oil on panel 2008
"Muck Snipe" 37" x 27.5" oil on panel 2009
(a muck snipe, by the way, is old victorian slang for someone down and out, usually from gambling losses - I had to look it up)
"Smasher" 48" x 47" oil on panel 2006
"Tracer 48" x 30" oil on panel 2006