Aaron Nagel is one of the most refined, intricate painters in the realm of contemporary realism today. Abstract elements such as black, tar dipped hands – or arrows that penetrate the body, are oft incorporated into his work. To be a female painted by Nagel is of the highest honor, immortalized by oil, captured in the purest form. The artist renders his subjects accurately in technique, but strives to make them icons, if not saints.
It is within this attitude that Nagel has created his latest body of work entitled “A Thin Line” for the Shooting Gallery in San Francisco. His females find themselves laid bare, sometimes adorned and surrounded by Old English style letters, in homage to the very bodies they inhabit. Often people ask if Nagel’s work has religious connotations – which can be understood when looking at many of the elements within the paintings – but after careful examination, it is clear that the spiritual nature of his work is derived from simply making the feminine divine.
“A Thin Line” is a different show than we’ve seen from Nagel in the past – his realism has loosened in technique, but still captures the “tight” painting style for which he has been known. The artist finds himself in a place where he doesn’t necessarily want to be labeled as a “realist”, but also seeks to find the freedom to be “loose” and “painterly”. Thus, this is the “Thin Line” that Nagel finds himself standing within – the crossroads – letting go of realist ideals, and creating something entirely new. We are presented with work that captures all the realist elements we have come to love from Nagel, while incorporating loose brushstrokes that still are placed methodically. It is within these new brushstrokes that we are beginning to see something new: Nagel himself.
Overall, a wonderful new body of work from Nagel… we highly suggest checking it out.
– Michael Cuffe for Warholian
“Intersection” runs June 11th, 2011- July 2nd 2011 at the Shooting Gallery, SF. For more information on the show visit: http://www.ShootingGallerySF.com
For more information on Aaron Nagel and his work, visit: http://www.aaronnagel.com/