For this week’s artist conversation I chose Rhiannon Aaron’s work in the Max L. Gatov Gallery West. Aarons started formally training as an artist at the young age of 17 and actually tested out of high school. She got her undergraduate degree in painting at Otis College of Art and Design and is currently a MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) student majoring in printmaking at Cal State Long Beach.
When entering the Gatov Gallery there were multiple artists’ pieces displayed throughout the gallery, but I was immediately attracted to Aarons’ work in the back of the gallery. Her work was titled Ex Libris which includes multiple prints of the skull of a mythological goddess and skeletal serpents all of which are relatively large in size. After talking with Aarons I found out that the theme of her work was mythology, the skull is based off of pagan mythology and the serpents are biblical mythology. Aarons said that she gets inspiration from all over, but specifically mention Rebecca Chalker’s The Clitoral Truth.
The first of Aarons’ pieces I noticed were the prints of Hecate, which are an anatomical rendering of the skull of the Goddess. She used the descriptions in myths to come up with her finished print. In order to make these prints she used a technical of printmaking called dry point. In dry point you can you either a copper or plexiglass plate in which you scratch your design into (creating grooves). Ink is then smashed into the grooves and a press is used to smash the paper into the grooves. Aarons explained that she likes dry point because the plate changes every time you do a print. To go along with the Hecate prints she also constructed a crate that would be able to hold Hecate’s head if she actually existed. The last of her pieces, the Serpents, are based off of the serpents of the Garden of Eden, these unlike the prints of Hecate were created digitally.
When asked what Aarons hopes her viewers will take away from her work she said that she hopes that everyone will be able to get the general meaning of her pieces as well as make their own interpretations of her work. Aarons explained that a successful piece of art will make people look more closely at everything and I couldn’t agree more.
If you’d like to check out more of Aarons’ work or contact her, all of the appropriate links and information will be listed below.