How I found Aaron Lawrence – Outside his studio

I’m a huge believer in seeing art everywhere. Many people believe art must be an object (i.e., painting, drawing, etc.) exhibited inside museum and/or gallery walls and reserved for some elite group’s viewing pleasure. The contemporary artist must be well-rounded though (i.e., staying apprised of the arts and technology). Look at Takashi Murakami. Fans of Hip Hop artist, Kanye West, are probably very familiar with Murakami’s art and design for album cover, Graduation. Yet, I’m wondering if these same individuals know Murakami had a series of sculptures exhibited at the Palace of Versailles or that his work is auctioned off by Sotheby’s to very wealthy collectors. Probably not.

Having the technical skills and a fine arts sensibility to execute graphic design and illustration that inevitably becomes a part of a culture’s visual language makes for one powerful artist. I like to believe that graphic designers and illustrators have that fine arts artist in them. Like Murakami, Aaron Lawrence is well on his way to designing himself into the Bay Area’s visual landscape.

So, how did I found Aaron Lawrence? Well, I was sitting at The Summit cafe (which is a fantastic and unique cafe/gallery/tech space and oh so fitting for my discovery) in San Francisco’s Mission District. As always, I was thumbing through the books and zines displayed in their library. I found a piece of wood with a well designed print on it. It told me to find its creator – Aaron Lawrence.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now…if he can only create more of that fine art. Crossing my fingers. Enjoy his answers to my Art 10 questions.

* * * * * * * * * *

1. What is your favorite (art) word?

Collaboration

2. What is your least favorite (art) words?

Cannot

3. What keeps you going when you’re in the studio?

Everything. People, architecture, nature, other art – there is inspiration all around, if you look.

4. When do you know you’re done in the studio?

Time schedule or when I finish a piece.

5. What words do you love to hear at an art show (your show or any show)?

Inspiring, fun, and had a good time.

6. What words do you hate to hear at an art show (your show or any show)?

$10 cover

7. What is your favorite curse word?

Shit

8. What profession other than being an artist would you like to attempt?

Helping the poor.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

I saw this TV show where this guy’s job was to squeeze the shit out of baby chickens. I don’t want that job.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Welcome.

You can learn more about Aaron’s work by visiting his website.

A special treat for you – image of  next month’s SF Guardian’s Christmas issue! Thanks, Aaron!


Public Isolation Project

Being on medical leave (for knee surgery) subjected me to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate – Thanks, BFF and Google), reading and playing Words with Friends (via my iPhone). Since I love being outdoors, taking walks (anywhere and, sometimes, aimlessly), it’s safe to assume the recuperation period has been challenging and makes me rather talkative when my girlfriend comes over to have dinner after a hard day’s work. Good ole cabin fever starts to make me wonder all sorts of things and was quickly reminded of how I have a connection to people outside of these walls. Whether it’s through social networking, texting, chatting on gChat, posting some random thought, picture, or video on my tumblr, or writing about art; people are bound to know some aspect of my personality even if they don’t know me. Ten years ago, it was a bit taboo engaging in some online rendezvous and perhaps, a bit on the desperate side for those who consider themselves introverts. Nowadays, it’s strange if you’re not connected to the rest of the world. My goodness, if you don’t have a phone, people look at you as if you’ve been in some cave.

I love art because it takes you out of yourself. The displacement that occurs when you go to a museum, gallery, or an art opening is the very reason artists are extremely important in this touch screen interface laden culture. Cristin Norine and Joshua Jay Elliott have created a project examining the effects of technology and the degradation of face to face interaction. Norine will be living in a studio space exposed to the world (well, physically, anyone in Portland, Oregon), for 30 days, communicating ONLY through technology (i.e., Skype, social networking, Face Time, e-mail, texting – you get the point). Consider me intrigued…

Is it art? If you’re talking about it and asking the question, it probably is.

You can read Norine’s blog here.

a Los Angeles aesthetic

One of my new favorite blogs – a Los Angeles aesthetic!

This recent grad has much to say about contemporary art and her blog is filled with reflections and photography. As a matter of fact, her entries remind me to carve time out of my busy schedule to address the things I love outside of the office. Her blog certainly serves as a catalyst for me but it’s also a great way to see what’s going on in her area (Santa Monica, CA). Please give her blog a visit!

You can also find her listed on my Blogroll should you need a reminder of where to find the LA Aesthetic!