Aaron Rose, TOTEMS at Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin

Aaron Rose, Totem II (Whisper), 2015
acrylic, spray paint, sign painter's enamel on canvas
150 x 150cm Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery. Photo, anna.k.o

BerlinArt & Culture

Searching for a Sign

Aaron Rose turns the traditional totem on its head as he explores our deepest desires...

What defines the tribes to which we belong? Aaron Rose’s TOTEMS aims to put a face to the confused and conflicted existence of mankind in the modern world, taking the icons’ traditional format apart and reassembling it with bold graphics and symbols culled from popular culture as he delves into issues of religion and spirituality, and both sexual and material desires. The American artist presents his paintings and kinetic sculptures at Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin, this month.

Rose considers religious tribalism with a series of large canvas works that feature the faces of false idols or fictitious gods. With these imposters the artist looks on spirituality as a desire for emotional connection with each other and as a symbolic source of comfort as we struggle through life. Using kinetic sculpture, Rose approaches the topic of sexual desire for similar motivations. A reinterpretation of the classic barbers pole lures the attention with light, colour and movement, but again deeper symbolism is at play; these traditional signs were, before being adopted by barbers, used to advertise the services of prostitutes. Faceless works, instead focusing on graphic shapes and symbols, relate to alcohol and drugs and intoxication, and their ultimately futile use as a facilitator of solace and peace.

Search through TOTEMS‘ symbolism until 31 October.

@CircleCultureG

Totem I

Aaron Rose, Totem I (Belief), 2015. installation view
acrylic, spray paint, sign painter’s enamel on canvas
150 x 150cm. Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery.
Photo, anna.k.o

original work on barber pole

Aaron Rose, Totem, 2015
archival print from original work on barber pole
106, 68 x 35, 4cm Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery. Photo, Uwe Walter

Ill Repute

Aaron Rose, Ill Repute, 2015
installation view. spray paint, sign painters enamel, wooden legs on suitcase customised as boombox
76,2 x 50, 8 x 10,16cm. Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery

Aaron Rose, The Question

Aaron Rose, The Question (Target Series I), 2015
acrylic spray paint, sign painter’s enamel on canvas
91,44 x 60,96cm. Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery. Photo, Uwe Walter

Aaron Rose, The Rush (Target Series III)

Aaron Rose, The Rush (Target Series III), 2015
acrylic_spray paint, sign painter’s enamel on canvas
91,44 x 60,96cm. Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery. Photo, Uwe Walter

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