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.”
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.”
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.
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: