April 15, 2014 -- After a career on Madison Avenue as a "real Mad Man" that began in the mid 1960's, Glen Head Artist Larry Aarons left the advertising and marketing fields in 2012 to return to his first love - creating art.
Works from Mr. Aaron's series of pastels, "The Myths of Man" will be on exhibit at the Sea Cliff Library from May 4th through mid June. The exhibition includes portraits of historical and mythological figures from Europe, Africa, and the Classical World, including Zeus, Cleopatra, Apollo, Aphrodite, Alexander the Great, Caesar, and Soudan Man.
Mr. Aarons uses strong contrasts of light and dark in his drawings - a method known as Chiaroscuro, which gives the figures a warmth and three-dimensionality that brings them to life.
The inspiration for the series, Mr. Aarons explains, comes from his belief that "everything that came before us is part of us and we cannot escape it. From man's beginnings we've all been touched by the presence and spirit of the human endeavour."
In choosing his subjects, he says, "I am constantly scouring the internet for images and stories that touch me." In addition, he explains that he likes to go to museums, and just sit and draw, using the museum pieces as his subjects - for instance, Hercules at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
His work Mikhail was recently selected from more than 150 entries for inclusion in the Huntington Arts Council's Juried Portrait Show, which will run through mid-May. The subject of the piece, Mikhail Kutuzov, Mr. Aarons explains, was a general who stopped Napoleon's advance into Russia.
At the Sea Cliff exhibit, because of limited space, only six originals will be included. However, the complete "Myths of Man" series will be displayed in photographic form. Despite the space limitations, Mr. Aarons says "the venue is very warm and inviting. It allows the viewer to get up close to look at the work."
Framed Giclee prints of Mr. Aarons works, in a limited edition of 250, will be offered for sale. Giclee is a high quality print that is considered to be the standard for museums and galleries around the world.
Prior to his more than three decades long work in advertising and marketing as a Creative Director and running his own advertising agency for 10 years, Mr. Aarons attended the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan from 1962-1965 where he studied illustration and painting with some of New York City's leading artists, including Harvey Dinerstein and Milton Glaser. In recent years, he has continued to hone his craft studying at the Art Students League in New York City, Long Island Academy of Fine Arts in Glen Cove, and the Kline Academy of Art in Los Angeles, as well as at other art schools and museums.
In addition to the Huntington and Sea Cliff Shows, Mr. Aaron's works were displayed this past October at the Gold Coast Library in Glen Head - his first one-man show; and in December his piece "Black and White Cali Lily" won participation in a juried group show at the Hersh Gallery in Glen Cove. Coming this fall his works will be exhibited in one-man shows at the Syosset Art Gallery (September) and the Hutchins Gallery in Brookville (October).
The artist's reception for the Sea Cliff exhibition will be held on May 18 from 1-3 pm.