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Artist Focus: Jared Aubel

Artist Focus: Jared Aubel 

Interview by Angela RoseRed
Arizona artist Jared Aubel has made waves on both a local and national level. His artistic approach to contemporary pop art has a fine art appeal with a surge of humor and whit. Aubel’s subjects vary from a Gangster Jesus to a Punk Rock Zebra. Whatever clever juxtaposition he produces, it is a true reflection of his colorful soul that leaves viewers with a fun afterthought.

Describe your artistic style in one sentence:

I would described my art as contemporary pop art with a clever whit or lampoon often added.

How long have you been an artist?

I always loved art! Even as a kid I would win drawing and coloring contests.  I didn’t get serious about it until my parents encouraged me to go to college and I told them “if I was going to go to school it was going to be something I love, art” I went to ASU for art and graduated with a BFA in fine art.  After graduation I sold my art fairly well while working part time jobs to pay the bills.  I made the leap to full time artist about 3 years ago.  So I have pretty much been an artist my whole life. 

Who are your main artistic influences?

In school I took an art history class, where you learn about a lot of different artists, it kind of gets numb seeing soo many greats, but I really like Dali and his crazy photo-real surrealism style.  I enjoy the pop style of Warhol even though I feel like he wasn’t a great artist and more of a good marketer /scenester.  I really started getting into the graffiti art movement.  Some of those favorites are Shepard Fairey, because of his gorilla marketing slap tagging.  Ron English, The godfather of billboards and creator of POPAGANDA.  The infamous Banksy.  Some of my favorite Contemporary artists are, Crayola, Jim Phillips, Josh Keyes, Jeremy Fish, and Robert Williams.  Those are just a few.

List your favorite medium and art materials:

I graduated from college with a BFA specializing in sculpture so I learned a lot of different mediums.  I really liked foundry and sculpting in clay.  I still miss sculpture now and then and want to get back into it.  For my paintings I use OIL, ACRYLIC, and spray paint.  I prefer to paint on wood panel just because it’s more durable than canvas.  I have had canvases rip or get poke marks when storing and that doesn’t happen with wood. 

You had a piece in the Jim Phillips screaming hand exhibition a few years back, what was that like?

I grew up with some of those iconic Skate images and the screaming hand by Jim Phillips was always one of my favorites.  I saw that the 30th year anniversary show was traveling across the world and one of the stops was here in Phoenix.  I told some buddies that we needed to go and was stoked to see it.  I then thought it would be even cooler if I was in it so I did a little detective work and found out where it was at and who was in charge of stuff. After a couple calls I found out some names and contacted them with who I was and some images of my art.  They like my art and told me that there were a few open spots for local tribute pieces and when and where I could meet them to get my piece into the show last minute.  I was stoked to be a part of it and it was an amazing show.  A few months later I get an email from Santa Cruz telling me that my painting was one of the selected local pieces to be in the final showing at the Santa Cruz History of Art.  I signed some paperwork and it was shipped.  I ended up taking a road trip with some friends up the coast to see the opening of it. It was epic!!

Has skate art shaped who you are as an artist?

I wouldn’t say shaped but maybe inspired.  I really like that style of art.  It is rebellious and different, Kind of like how most skateboarders are.  I like art that has a voice and powerful meaning and a lot of times that coincides with sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing.

A lot of your pieces have a sense of humor with a strong narrative. Where do you find inspiration for these unique themes?

I’m inspired by everything! I know that sounds too easy but it’s true.  With an artistic mind everything that comes through has potential to be some sort of art idea.  I keep a pad of paper next to my bed and some days I just wake up with random ideas. I also have pages and pages of ideas in my studio of painting concepts.  Some are not always the best but a lot of them have a good premise.   

It’s apparent that your work is sometimes influenced by music. List of some of your favorite musicians and bands:

I love music!  This might be hard because there are a lot and different types of music that I like too.  I grew up on the oldies, gangsta rap and then Punk Rock, so I’m kind of all over the place.  I also collect records so I will just tell you which ones are by my player that I spin the most.  Bill Withers, ELO, Bob Marley, Dean Martin, Biz Marque, The Clash, and K flay.

If your artwork could represent a song, what would it be?

That is a good question! I think Mr. Blue sky by ELO, because a lot of my pieces have a juxtaposition in them, kind of like day vs. night.  Also it is a fun bouncy song and I feel like most of my art is intended to be clever and fun.

What fictional character would you choose to be your art assistant and why?

Another good question!  I would have to choose Timothy the mouse from Dumbo.  1st off its one of my all-time favorite movies.  Second; he was very supportive toward Dumbo and hopefully would be the same with me. Third; He is a cartoon mouse that wears a circus ring leader suit, who doesn’t want to spend time with a cartoon.  And Lastly I think he would have some drinks with me and we could see pink elephants together. 

Do you have any events or projects in the works?

Projects in the works, yes always!  I just finished a fun Justin Timberlake painting ‘BRASPBERRYS’.  I was inspired by his combination of how he eats fruit and his hilarity.  I’m also working with a glassware company in California that is going to print my Day of the Dead series on reusable glass water cantinas and drink ware.  They are all about saving the ocean from pollution and efforts to lessen the over use of plastics. 

Where can our viewers see your art and are you available for commission work?

I have a lot of my art up around the valley in various restaurants/bars, salons, coffee shops and music venues.  Some of my favorite are Pig & Pickle in Scottsdale, Sips, Saints and Scissors, Vanity on Mill, The Marquee Theatre, All of the Loco Patron locations and Puro cigar bar in Chandler.  You can always view and purchase my art on my website @ www.JaredAubel.com  I always love doing commissions.  It’s fun to work with people on their ideas and come up with something that they can hang in their home and enjoy for years and years.