top of page

Aaron Lee

Aaron Lee is a painter, printmaker, and photographer who has exhibited in California and has been featured in multiple collections on Saatchi Art, including in the catalogue. Aaron’s extensive work background in printing and design has infused his works with contemporary pop art aesthetics. He describes his work as being influenced by philosophy, color relationships, and popular culture. His goal remains to one day open up a youth center to teach art and offer art therapy with young people struggling with mental health. 

The paintings are a mix of bold colors with high contrast fused with darker hues. Aaron often portrays fashionable models and sometimes displays them with corporate logos, as if to suggest these women are being used for corporate propaganda or they are bought and paid for. Perhaps not in a cynical way but rather an expressive portrayal of fashionable capitalism. The techniques range from natural representation, expressionistic approaches, combined with elements of streaks of abstract expressionist brush strokes sometimes applied over the subjects faces. These women portray fashionable confidence and striking poses letting the viewer know they look good. With blinding flares of light streaking across the surface of the canvases along with bold highlights, the lighting remains dramatic and dream-like. Aaron’s works are clever presentations of precise and advanced technical skills in painting combined with contemporary design elements found in publishing such as a fashion magazine. 

Two notable and striking works would be Her Blood is Joy (pictured above) and Madison Park (pictured below). Using extreme expressions in contrast and blinding glares of highlights the paintings represent several repeated images of the subject in a collage or magazine type format. These beautiful models represent varying degrees of emotions in clear distinct facial expressions with the one below expressing a flirtatious smile while the painting above conveys cocky and serious confidence. Executed with cool bluish grays on their skin tones with swirls of muted pastel colors in abstracted form, the paintings offer a pristine finish and variation in expression. 

Red Horse (pictured below) represents an almost retro 1980’s or early 1990’s magazine cover with dated make up and aged imagery. The woman offers a striking pose of confidence followed by several corporate logos of car manufacturers and oil companies such as Ferrari and Shell. The painting almost represents a celebration of the excesses of capitalism, even if not celebrating the system itself. With a deep red monotone painted throughout the composition and heavy contrast, Red Horse portrays the message with just red, black, and hints of muted yellow. Geometric and incorporating publishing design elements, the painting comes off as a more refined interpretation of popular culture. 

Aaron Lee creates fascinating interpretations of popular culture with sophisticated and aesthetically beautiful execution of expressive yet refined painterly techniques. He successfully pulls off fine art painting with graphic design elements, an achievement few artists truly possess. Pop art may sometimes come off as flashy and superficial but Aaron respects and presents the art form with a sense of serious dignity through a clever combination of abstract expressionism, magazine formatted design, and intelligent application of color relationships which seem to flow smoothly and effortlessly.  With a bold body of work and knack for fashionable storytelling, Aaron Lee breathes life into contemporary portrait painting.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
bottom of page