Zachary Aronson Describes Recent Art Events and Art Shows He’s Attended

Zachary Aronson recently started an artist residency in Hollywood where he paints portraits with fire Friday nights. He explains that it’s been good to get back in the zone where he can create and make live art. “There are quite a few celebrities and influencers passing through the club.” It’s a lot different from being in the studio. Zach explains, “In a portrait session, we are each other’s world, and the real world disappears. I really thrive in that space where I can connect with another person.”


Psychic Energy


Live events have those same qualities but it’s a little more chaotic. Zach feels that he is truly in his element when he’s out in a crowd and can share in live events. Oftentimes people are trying to converse with him while he’s working, but he welcomes it because he can just do it, so to speak. He can continue to share what he loves and still be present and soak in the energy from the crowd. “For instance, at festivals and clubs, there’s a spark there that just gives me life and energizes me,” Zach explains. “Most people are attending these events for other reasons, and I’m just there, kind of as a bonus.” It’s an entertaining surprise. 


Diversity and Live Art


The people that attend these live affairs differ so much from one event to the next. “ That’s another thing that my work offers me, a chance to just meet and connect with a wide variety of people,” Zach explains. “For instance, the Burning Man community is a little different than other mainstream events.” He continues, “I have the Venice Art Walk coming up soon, so I end up meeting a very diverse mix of people all the time.” Zach enjoys sharing and introducing his art to others. “It’s very accessible for most people, even for people that haven’t discovered the value of art,” he explains. “ I kind of toe the line between performer and artist.” He continues, “There are a lot of people who are initially attracted to the fire aspect of my work, and then they see what I do with it and they appreciate the artistic element. To see it in real life is a lot different than seeing it on TikTok or Instagram.” 


Live Art


Zach used to consider himself a studio artist: someone who solely works in the studio and puts the finished pieces in a gallery or exhibit. Then someone who visited his studio just happened to ask if Zach would be willing to make the art live at a party. He brought all his materials and it was a hit! It wasn’t expected or intentional. “Now, I do custom commissions,” Zach explains. “Clients can come to my studio or I can travel all over Southern California and beyond.” Zach was always on the other side of the artwork. He elaborates. “Now, I’m being seen and photographed and I’m comfortable with it, even though that hasn’t always been the case.” You never know when an event like that will change your life. You just have to put yourself out there and be open to all the possibilities. 


Good Fortune


Inadvertently, art has made Zach a more social and comfortable person in public. Half of his work is actually done live now. It’s been a valuable experience for himself and for his career. Learning how to express yourself artistically and creatively in front of people is something a lot of people might not feel comfortable doing. For Zach, it was a matter of just taking advantage of the right opportunity at the right time and being open to new and different experiences.


For more information on Zachary Aronson and his ability to paint portraits using only fire, please see:


Website: www.zaronson.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/zacharyaronson


An Artist’s Year in Review During a Pandemic

Most people struggled with what they should do with themselves at the beginning of the pandemic. Freelance artist, Zachary Aronson was no different. “I admit I was a little lost during that time because I almost exclusively do live portraits with fire,” Zach explains. “No one could even see their friends during that time.” This was difficult for me to process. Especially, when you are the kind of artist that equates productivity with creating and producing art. For portrait artists that feel the need to make and create this was definitely a tricky time and an unusual time to try and find inspiration.


A Break in the Timeline


For his entire life, Zach has always had a stream of artistic projects on display to track his progress. Even his art from childhood is kept in his home, dated with the names of his subjects on the back. This time really forced him to go through a shift where he had to find other ways to measure his productivity. “As a visual artist, once you make something, you have this object that lasts forever and I love that,” Zach explains. “Being okay with not being productive all the time was a major piece of my journey this past year and a half.” Spending time wisely doesn’t always have to result in something tangible. 


Finding Value in Other Forms of Creativity


Zach explains that he did what most other people did. He spent some time practicing self-love: writing more, connecting with nature, and learning a little on guitar. During this time, he came to the realization that there were times as a youth that he might have used art as a defense mechanism of sorts. At times he thinks his art might have served as a crutch to have more social interaction. “I grew out of that, of course,” Zach explains. “I think of art as more of a tool now than a crutch and that my art is a product of being social.”


“This was all just at the beginning of the pandemic,” Zach says laughing. Zach eventually got bored enough and curious enough to try the “Not a Flamethrower” flamethrower on his art pieces. “This was during a time when I couldn’t go out and do what I love, he says. “I couldn’t do my preferred type of art where I meet people, so I just started to really push the boundaries with different techniques.” 

Working Around a Pandemic


“It’s been interesting and bizarre going back into the world, trying to return to portraits with masks,” Zach admits. “I have a series of masked portraits.” It serves as a snapshot or documentation of the times.” Zach continues to proceed with caution, being responsible and safe. He is grateful that coming together hasn’t harmed him or anyone else. It’s been a tough year, but a year of more self-discovery as well.


Return to Yourself


“Otherwise, this past year has been pretty good for me, getting back out there, Zach shares. “My art is where I feel good, but it was good to know that I could break free from it and pursue other things besides art. In the past, I have felt like I needed my art.” He thoughtfully continues, “Now, I know that I don’t have to equate productivity with creating. I can just create because I know it serves as a tool for interaction and for giving the gift of art. I feel at home, so it’s good to be back home and in that space where I can connect with people again.”

For more information on Zachary Aronson and his ability to paint portraits using only fire, please see:


Website: www.zaronson.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/zacharyaronson


Zachary Aronson Discusses Why He Doesn’t Play Favorites When it Comes to His Art

Zach is always pushing the limits when it comes to his art. So, when it comes to choosing a favorite. He’s pretty reluctant to make a decision. “My favorite is almost always one of the last few I’ve done.” It’s pretty rare that he will go five pieces without saying that one of them is his new favorite. 


Constant Improvement


Because he is improving so dramatically and so rapidly, his most recent works usually become his favorite. “That’s one thing that might not be reflected in other mediums,” Zach explains. “Because I am always experimenting and evolving and taking the best of what I’ve learned.” Whether it’s improving on the proportions, getting faster, or using new and different tools to advance his art, Zach is always striving to perfect his work by any means possible. 


For instance, Zach saw a substantial improvement in his art when he started incorporating a flame thrower. How does an artist decide that a flame thrower would be a good addition to their work? Zach explains, “ When I first heard about Elon Musk’s company putting out a flamethrower, I  thought it was a joke. Elon Musk sold 10,000 flame throwers to raise money for LA company, The Boring Company.” Zach continues, “ When the company tweeted that their next project would be a “Not A Flamethrower” I was intrigued.  Zach continues, “It looked fake - like an assault rifle. I thought to myself, this is a terrible idea for everyone else, but a perfect creative tool for me.”


Experimentation


The pandemic is actually what inspired Zach to try out the flamethrower. “Because human interaction is such a huge inspiration for my work, I was bored without people,” Zach recalls. “I went into experimental mode.” He continues, “ I tried it and realized it was burning the wood at an even pace. The flame was so large it was coating the wood in ash.” Prior to that when he was using the torches it would make marks that covered less surface area. Now Zach uses the ash to make features and the shavings and ash become something to essentially finger paint with. 


Zach explains, “So, now I start a portrait using this, and then take it to the studio to essentially paint the features. Near the end, I take it outside and hit it with the flamethrower with more accuracy to fill larger areas with more precision.” Recently, Zach has started burning the bottom to create almost a solid ash. It gives the portrait a moodier feel.  


Sentimental Value


That said, Zach sees his art as more of a sentimental representation of the moment. So, there can’t really be an ultimate favorite piece. Zach keeps everything that he hasn’t sold. He’s developed an entirely new medium, so watching the progression is ongoing and something that he really loves. “My pieces are a snapshot of that time,” Zach explains. “Sometimes it represents a turning point.” He continues, “I have a timeline of my work on display in my house. I have my first pieces.” In fact, Zach has kept everything, even from when he was a kid. His works are all dated with the name of the person that had the portrait done. If you think of your craft as a way to constantly improve, you might also have a new favorite every few pieces. The trick is to keep experimenting and evolving. 

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