There is something to be said for artists who successfully combine seemingly disparate and even opposing elements harmoniously. Aaron Wexler works within a complex matrix of acrylic on paper collage on panel and paper. All at once he synthesizes abstraction and figuration, physical and psychological space, optimism and anxiety. The artist's collages
have both a visual subtlety that belie their efficacy as images as well as a delicate and a deceptive complexity that requires protracted investigation. Their imagery is nuanced and layered, yet vaguely familiar and strangely enigmatic. They act as a visual inquiry into the deeper recesses of a place dominated by inherently contradictory forces. In conception and execution the work is imbued with a fragile equilibrium of opposites. It may be said that at their foundation they address the Neitzschean paradox of the struggle between the Apollonian or principle of individuation (reason, beauty, etc.) and the Dionysian notion of passion, excess, and ultimately destruction. A successful combination of these polarities lies at the heart of Aaron Wexler's work. Seductive and yet disconcerting is Never Die, a disorienting descent into a swirling vortex of butterfly wings. The work recalls the spiraling and spatial growth of the Fibonacci sequence. Initially, the viewer enters the work in rapid recession toward the center amid a seemingly chaotic entanglement of dismembered arthropods. It is only after this initial glimpse that the formal complexity of the work becomes apparent. The foreground borders the work at a close proximity to the viewer and is emphasized by an intense contrast of blacks and grays on a background of fuchsia. As the coil retreats into a void of infinity, however, so does the contrast, to the point where the black slowly becomes its opposite: white. The viewer plummets downward into a space filled with wings'objects that give flight. These elements are delicate and ephemeral, yet even the title suggests an unattainable infinitude. The viewer must, therefore, reconcile the sense of rapid descent with the knowledge that the primary biological purpose of a wing is to lift a physical body into flight.
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