Monday, December 13, 2010

I wrote the introduction for my friend marion Peck's monograph.

"Animal Love Summer"
A new exhibition book by Marion Peck.
Forward essay by Aaron Smith
Marion will be signing copies of her new exhibition book "Animal Love Summer" during her upcoming exhibition at Alix Sloan Fine Art in New York, NY.
Booksigning: Saturday, December 18th, 3 to 5 pm

Sloan Fine Art
128 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
Sloan Fine Art

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Folk Art sculptures in the studio.

I have a passion for folk art carving. There are many pieces in my studio and at home. They are mostly early 20th century American pieces, with a few 19th century ones. It's often hard to tell their exact ages, with the hairstyles and clothing represented being the only clues. Several are signed, but most are anonymous. I look for pieces with charm and clarity of form. Despite their humble origins, they can be extremely modern and elegant.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The double apron look. In the studio...

A bit posey. Taken by my great friend (and studio mate) Beverly on my phone.
The new studio is fantastic: pleasant company, great light, and high ceilings. It really has been a smart move. When outside commitments keep me away from the studio however, I feel crabby.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Some great press....

I am pleased to share that the 2010 Summer Issue of NY Arts Magazine features a spread on my work as well as the dang cover! Here is a link to read the text.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Art Center Illustration Has Joined Facebook

AC- Illustration has started a Facebook fan page to keep all abreast of the department's events and alumni achievements. I hope you'll join.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Group Show "Kink" at Koplin Del Rio Gallery

There are two new paintings of mine in summer group show.

“Rip-Staver”, 2010, oil on panel, 60” x 48”
“Chivvy”, 2010, oil on panel, 42” x 36”

Monday, May 10, 2010

Friends with Cursors

The Lower East Side's most visible gallery, Sloan Fine Art is a clean, well-lit mecca of contemporary art in Manhattan's epicenter of all things trending. Truth-be-told, Alix Sloan is not only my art dealer, but she has long been a best-friend-in-all-the-world to me. So with rampant self interest, and a shameless insider's point-of-view, I encourage all readers to follow the gallery's new blog. It promises to give a nice picture of Lower Manhattan's artistic life.

Pictured above:
Kristen Schiele
"Sin With Me"
38" x 45"
silkscreen, airbrush & oil on canvas

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Danger of Teaching at an Art School

Every so often I'll be lecturing in class, and I'll look down and notice one of my students using me as a drawing model. It's an occupational hazard. Drawings like this help me to maintain a realistic perception of my appearance. These CARICATURES are by the talented and buff David Patel.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Got a Virtual Bear Hug!

Finally some love from those kindly, cuddly creatures of the (mostly) gay community. ART BEAR has posted images of a few of my bearded men paintings...

ART BEAR - Paper & Ink & Beards & Kink.

Check it out. Once you're there, click on the blog's title to see the latest hirsute related artwork.

Of course to see much more visit

Friday, March 26, 2010

Diane Barcelowsky returns to Sloan Fine Art, NY.

Diane Barcelowsky is an artist that raises my endorphin levels. Running one's eyes over her seriously psychedelic, slightly psychotic paintings produces the best kind of contact high. Brilliant colors, fascinating patterns, and tiny scenes of often hilarious goings-on combine to produce a heady state of blissful overstimulation. Where does she get this stuff? Who cares. Her inventive paintings are visually abundant and narratively slippery.
Sloan Fine Art in New York's lower east side just opened a stunning show of Diane's mixed media paintings. A former student of mine, the talented Edwin Ushiro creates a different kind of lush magic, with his light filled mixed media pieces in the gallery's project room. The show's dates are March 24 to April 17, 2010.
Find Diane's blog and Sloan Fine Art in my link list.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nolan Hendrickson paints with riotous humor.

There is a giddy irreverence at play in the large canvases of New York artist Nolan Hendrickson. Queer culture seems equally celebrated and lampooned as swishy/butch men pose lasciviously together and alone. Hendrickson's keen color sense and daring graphic approach captivate as he hilariously gooses good taste with raunchiness. While these paintings must inevitably be seen against a background of social and political change, their impish ambivalence keeps them from being either didactic or merely decorative. We are charmed and challenged. This is gutsy stuff.
Nolan Hendrickson's website can be found in my list of links.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Renoir's Late Paintings (As seen at LACMA's "Renoir in the 20th Century")

Part of Speech : Noun

Definition : Paintings made by an aging, arthritic artist who seems to have been a perfectly nice man.

Synonyms : abhorrence, affect, awkwardness, banality, boiler, booby trap, charade, chicanery, cliche', contrivance, corn, crime, crap, disappointment, drollery, dupery, eyesore, fakery, fibbery, fluff, fog, fraud, frippery, gaucherie, gaudiness, gewgaw, hoax, hokum, hodge-podge, howler, jest, lapse, mendacity, mess, mishmash, muddle, nuisance, pretense, ruse, saccharin, sham, shibboleth, subterfuge, stew, syrup, vulgarity.

Antonyms : Late Bonnard, Late Cezanne, Late Degas, Late Monet, Late Picasso.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm in a show in DC....

My friend Trevor Young has curated an interesting show in Washington DC. Click on the image to read the details.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A rather formal call to all independent booksellers.

Less people read books these days. We all know that. More often than ever, the books that are bought, are done so online. The problem for lovers of artbooks, is that the best way to know if an artbook is worthwhile is to thumb through it in a bookstore. The bland selections at the chain stores leaves much of the burden on dwindling independent bookstores to give art lovers their fix. The pressures to stand apart from the chains while serving the store's community seem considerable. When making choices about art related books to order for an independent bookstore, one must establish the reasons the books are carried in the first place. In my mind, a bookseller with integrity should try to include a fair representation of books relating to artists who are "relevant". By what standards can this be judged? Here are a few issues that come into play.
1) Popularity vs. Importance
- It is obvious that if something is popular, it is "relevant" to a large number of people. Many chain booksellers make the mistake however, of letting popularity be the number one criterion for choosing art books. I have often lamented the fact that there are some artists who seem over represented while others seem forgotten. These seemingly ubiquitous artists include Monet, Rembrandt, Klimt, and Van Gogh. There is an understandable impulse for progressive buyers to reject these artists because of their seeming overexposure. I would argue however, that certain artists are so important, that they can never be excluded because of their influence not only on other artists, but because of their influence on the culture. With this in mind, it is crucial that popularity be filtered through the more useful criteria of an artists' importance. This should be left to the well informed. Salvador Dali and MC Escher are invariably carried by booksellers with the most meager art section. While these artists remain popular with the masses, they are much less "important" in relation to Art History than artists like Manet or Cezanne who are universally recognized as essential to the development of western modern art. An artist's popularity, in other words is a partial indicator of their relevance, but it is a distracting one. Van Gogh, according to most experts in the field earns his high visibility while Thomas Kinkead does not. In the realm of contemporary art, Banksy is more popular than Larry Pittman, but is he more important? Independent booksellers would be wise to focus on more scholarly books of well known artists while avoiding the commonly carried superficial treatments of them. Additionally, they should be counted on, in championing the most interesting, if less well known artists and movements. In both cases, the independent bookseller remains uniquely valuable.

2) Community or Trend
-An independent bookstore's strength is it's ability to serve the community that surrounds it. Too few neighborhoods seem able to support independent booksellers. From most accounts, the areas where such booksellers thrive seem to host more educated and engaged clientele. It would be reasonable to conclude that a fair percentage of these customers are either artists, collectors, or individuals with an interest in art history. As with fiction, it must be assumed that a number of buyers simply want a book to enjoy as a bit of entertainment, but no comprehensive bookseller would ever consider not having a literature section. Classic Literature by authors like Steinbeck , Shakespeare, Melville, or Joyce are not only considered required reading for future authors, but for anyone who reads. Why should art books be chosen by a different standard? Individuals with a real investment in the art world are not only interested in books about the newest art trends, but in the origins of these trends. It is naive to assume that artists spring fully formed into the world without learning from art history. In music, the band members of Green Day might sight Neil Young as a primary influence. Similarly, a contemporary painter like Peter Doig sights earlier artists Edvard Munch and Gauguin as inspiration. For a bookseller to serve it's community, it must allow the context of art to be available to be explored and understood by it's visitors. Independent booksellers must also take the lead in representing artists and cultures that have traditionally been underrepresented. (Women, minorities, the underclass etc.) Like both music and literature, the area of fine art deserves to be treated comprehensively by our culture. A well stocked, independent bookseller should provide such a place.

John Singer Sargent
"Man Reading"
oil on canvas

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Memorable Show Opens at Sloan Fine Art, NY.

Aint Art grand? Every so often a show comes along that gives me happy butterflies in my stomach. This is one of those shows.
This week Sloan Fine Art presents a group of deceptively produced foam rubber cuckoo clocks that warm the heart while hinting of menace. Sculptor Nathan Skiles draws one in with nostalgia, then startles with a surprise.... Not unlike the little creature who lies in wait inside each of the real Black Forest contraptions. I love these pieces so much, I'm taking one home with me.
Heather Sherman's paintings in the project room thumb their noses at suburban attitudes. This young woman can paint! The paintings are a perfect compliment to Skiles' work with their fearless mixture of humor and rage.
Good times.
To see the work online, go to

Nathan Skiles pieces shown:
"Der Jordan-Sprudle" 2009
"The Vanitas of Vineta B" 2009
-both are corrugated plastic and foam rubber.

Heather Sherman pieces shown:
"Umbrella" 2009
"Suck It, Suburbia" 2009
-Both are oil on paper.