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Aaron M. Brown was born in Wichita, Kansas on April 4, 1964. He received a BFA from the University of Kansas, and an MFA from Syracuse University. His multi-layered work resists definition, but could be classified as a form of magical realism, with an emphasis on precise rendering, sensuous color, theatricality, and a dream-like sense of displacement. His interest in the photograph (both as an image of reference and an abstract subject) is essentially phenomenological, and should not be confused with photo-realism or hyper-realism, neither of which truly apply to his work.
Brown’s paintings offer a transcription of the intersection of the subconscious mind and the everyday world. They are a prismatic lens, bending the visible laws of reality to reflect and accentuate the invisible connective weave of temporal space.
Awards include grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Franz and Virginia Bader Fund, and the Gottlieb Foundation. He has participated in group and solo exhibitions internationally. His work has been featured in publications such as New American Paintings and Harper’s magazine, and is included in numerous private and public collections.
My studio practice revolves around the depiction of the human figure. I’m particularly interested in the paradoxical relationship between the figure and its environment.
The human presence is a fragile and evolving construct. It is a mystery unto itself, a secretive combination of impulses and directives, framed by fleeting physicality. In many of my paintings, the figure is set in the midst of a tableau that is both alienating and strangely familiar. It is a kind of prosaic wilderness, laden with the stuff of history and commerce, domestic artifice, consumerism, natural and unnatural catastrophe, cultural phantasmagoria…all the trappings of a derelict empire.
In the process, the psychology of the figure becomes the invisible subject. It is the central metaphor that celebrates the internal universe, the tenacity of instinct. It also recognizes the isolation of the embodied spirit, which so often finds itself at odds with the waking world.