I like to describe my painting practice as a form of space travel.
Within the surface of each painting is the two dimensional compression of a great distance travelled to reach a planet, a private wilderness, whose location only I know. It is a heavily wooded planet. I call it The Forest.
The finished paintings function like photographic documentation brought back from this other world. When I embark on my journey, I take with me photographs. They are cages filled with the images that I feel are important. These images call out to me. They seem to be special, unique. They beg to be taken away from this world and to the wilderness planet. They have unfulfilled destinies.
My space vehicle is crude but quaint. Landings are achieved through a descent of graceful turbulence. I cannot control exactly where I will land. When I emerge down the gangway my vision is shrouded in smoke and mists of condensation from the engines. I often like to stand in the haze and wait as features of the landscape reluctantly materialize. It is like being at sea in a thick fog and watching as a passing ship slowly appears.
Once on the surface, I haul out the cages and open their latches. Some of the images resist and huddle forlorn in their kennels but others burst forth into the landscape without looking back. Then I set about erecting my cumbersome and ancient painting apparatus. It usually takes a long time for the images to return. I pass the time making simple meals over a camping stove, drinking tea, smoking and listening to recordings. Once they have had time to run about, sniff at the air and explore, they usually find their way back. They come closer. They relax. They lose their awareness of me and engage in whatever activity interests them. I set to work with my brushes and paint, trying to capture the scene like a snapshot. When my work is done I gather my gear and load it into my ship. I return home.
Josh Aaron has shown his work in galleries and alternative spaces in Indianapolis, San Francisco and San Diego as well as online at Juxtapoz.com. Born at Eglin Air Force base on the gulf coast of Florida, Josh has lived in many places throughout the United States. He is currently working towards his MFA in Visual Arts at UCSD.