Booklyn Artists Alliance

Aaron Noble, Los Angeles, CA


Black Power, 2011

Relayer, 2007

Luna, 2005


Links about Aaron Noble

A Short History of Aaron Noble



Black Power, 2011

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Size: 24.75 X17.5"
Edition of 20, lithography
Printed at Hamilton Press


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Relayer, 2007

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Edition of 25, intaglio: hardground, aquatint, spit-bite aquatint, sugarlift, white ground, drypoint and roulette, 23.5x26.75”, $1,600

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Luna, 2005

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Edition of 30, 22.5 x 30 inches, intaglio: hardground, aquatint, spit-bite aquatint, sugarlift, white ground, drypoint and roulette, $1,200

Aaron created Luna in the Fall of 2005 at the Smith College Print Workshop. The Workshop program has been held over 20 years. Aaron worked with Master Printer Peter Pettengill; Pettengill is a Crown Point Press trained intaglio printer with his own shop in New Hampshire. He has worked with Laylah Ali, Louise Bourgeois, Lesley Dill, Tadaaki Kuwayama, Sol LeWitt, Walton Ford and numerous other artists, check his Wingate Studio website. In spring of 2007 Aaron returned to Windgate Studio to etch all the plates for Relayer which he and Peter then printed. Peter and Aaron plan to do a new print project every year.

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Links about Aaron Noble

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Miles ahead of the curve, Noble's artwork employs cultural surgery to ensure beautiful and profound aesthetic mutations.

Noble had an extremely impressive solo exhibition at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in NYC in 2007. He performed at the 2005 London Frieze Artfair with Andrea Zittel and had a sculpture in Zittel's 2006 exhibit at the Altria Whitney.

Noble installed an original wall mural at Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College. Check it out!

Peruse Aaron's creations at:

Pavel Zoubok Gallery

Peer UK, featuring a fabulous exhibit of drawings and a commissioned mural in London.

White Columns has a resume and other tidbits.

White Lead a good survey of Noble's international endeavors.

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Above Aaron's little brother Geth Noble loops the loop 32 times in 30 minutes to win the 2005 Reedsport Concrete Rodeo looping contest. Geth designed the Reedsport skate park and also commissioned his older brother Aaron to paint a mural (entitled "Loop") on the concrete tube seen in this picture. Photo: SkateOregon

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A Short History of Aaron Noble

My core practice is large scale site-specific wall painting with related works on paper and canvas. The work is a synthesis of three distinct practices: comics, collage, and muralism (both traditional and spraycan). The superhero comics of the sixties and seventies were my first aesthetic training ground. As a fan, collector and wannabe pro-cartoonist I became conversant with the extraordinarily dynamic and seductive vocabulary of ink line rendering techniques developed by a group of brilliant, mostly working class, mid-century cartoonists including Wallace Wood, Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Gene Colan, and the towering figure of Jack Kirby, whose exaggeration and abstraction of the human form paved the way for the deeply fetishistic superhero comics drawn by a later generation in the ‘90s. It was in these decadent late comics, first published by Image and drawn by Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Jae Lee, Todd MacFarlane and others, that I recognized an erotic flowering of the sublimated passions of superhero fandom. The old moral universe had disappeared, along with the old human body, along with the old well-crafted narrative. Only the obsessively detailed depiction of power, terror, and physical extremity remained. The comics, no longer a mass culture disposable, but now increasingly sold only in specialty shops affectively identical to adult bookstores, had become a Bataillean pleasure kingdom.

The San Francisco punk and art school scenes of the 80s were host to a wide range of collage practices in literature, film, music and visual art. The cut-up texts of beat writer William Burroughs were ubiquitous and influential, as were the found-footage films and collages of local artists Bruce Conner and Jess, the Situationist theory of detournement (freshly translated by Ken Knabb in Berkeley) and the work of dozens of younger artists, including Winston Smith, Julie Murray, Craig Baldwin, Negativland and Scott Williams. Important east coast collage artists passed through to teach, work or perform including Kathy Acker, Brian Eno and Grandmaster Flash. Happening on a picture of an old Lettrist collage made by lifting bits of newsprint off with adhesive tape, I adopted that medium and worked in it for years, attempting to emulate Burroughs’ and Brion Gysin’s occult literary practices in visual form.

In the 90’s, following my populist inclinations, I co-founded a community-based mural project in SF’s Mission district with Rigo23 and others. As an administrator and later as a muralist I had an intimate view of the entire range of public painting practices in one of muralism’s historic centers at a time when a synthesis of graffiti and high art practice was redefining the field. Significant figures here include Rigo, Barry McGee, Alicia McCarthy, Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Andrew Schoultz and others. I was struck by graffiti’s hermetic panache, its secret language, and its abandonment of the architectural frame: the way certain throw-ups seemed to float free of the wall, making no claim on it, in marked contrast to the traditional murals which employed an accessible visual vocabulary and treated the wall as a picture plane to be filled up. Unwilling to abandon the painterly ambition of older muralists like Chuy Campusano, Dewey Crumpler and Ray Patlan however, I sought a mode which would combine interesting aspects of both.

In the year 2000, aged 39, after about thirty years of experimentation in various media, I found my practice painting walls with designs derived from collaged comic book fragments. I think of the process as alchemical. The rendering of the base printed matter is fairly tedious, a matter of cutting away dull narrative and figurative bric-a-brac. The eyes tire, the blade grows dull, but the pile of interesting, possibly useful fragments is replenished. The reconfiguration that follows is unpredictable and mysterious. Shuffle, scan, rotate, adjust—over and over, searching for hints of the new form. Faculties of taste, faith, daring, and persistence are called upon. Usually it takes three days. The final transmutation is physically demanding: the fragile paper plan raised to architectural scale; the sordid action figures remixed as weightless metallic abstraction, the dark energies of adolescence purified and fulfilled in serene post-human ecstasy.

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