Aaron Parazette’s brand of abstract painting took form in the 1990’s, when he was employing an analytical, conceptual use of materials with clip art images of dripping and splashing liquid. These works assumed the appearance of authentic gestural abstraction, while maintaining a distance from the emotional investment generally associated with the genre. Parazette’s work has since shifted from an investigative, skeptical view of painting to genuine formalism—with a twist. His most recent paintings engage the parameters and mathematics of formalist painting through the imagery of letter forms, specifically words drawn from surfer jargon. The merging of the materials and process of two distinct cultures, painting and surfing, makes for a surprising, dynamic event. Indebted to the history of word paintings, concrete poetry, formalist cartography, and LA’s Cool School, these pieces function as signs for the 21st century.
Aaron Parazette’s solo exhibitions include Perspectives 141: Aaron Parazette, at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, 2004; and New Paintings, at the Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio, 2003. His two-person and group exhibitions include New Paintings: Esposito/Parazette/Rosmarin at the Texas Gallery, Houston, 2003; Beautiful Pressure, at Rocket Projects, Miami, 2003; and Material Morph: Aaron Parazette & Ken Price, at the Austin Museum of Art, 2001. Parazette’s distinctions include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award. He holds a MFA in Painting from Claremont Graduate School, and is based in Houston.