Meet a North Shore Artist: Aaron Kleeblatt
Meet Aaron Kleeblatt, one of the newest additions to The Arts of Life North Shore studio. He fills a much-needed role in our community: Artist as Social Commentator. His opinions are strongly held and don’t conform to anyone's expectations.
Aaron’s relational nature is clear in his work. His paintings, which often include political undertones, provide entry points for lively conversations with his audience. Donald Trump is one of Aaron’s favorite subjects to draw/paint. “I like him. He’s poetic. Things he says are like poetry.” Aaron enjoys a good argument and doesn’t mind if you don’t agree with his politics. Just having the opportunity to exchange ideas is the most important thing and Aaron’s work gives him that opportunity.
Aaron’s creative practice involves an extended planning/experimentation phase in which he makes numerous sketches of his subject. “I use a reference at first, then I draw out what I’m looking at.” In this phase, he plays with composition, adding and subtracting words, adjusting the size of the primary image, moving it around the field, etc, until he discovers a layout that evokes his desired response in the viewer. Then he embarks on the painting process.
Aaron’s interest in the arts long pre-dates his involvement at The Arts of Life. He’s taken visual arts classes throughout his life and hopes to learn the guitar in the near future. The studio’s benefited greatly from his knowledge of and interest in art history. He often shares snippets about the lives of historical artists with his contemporaries. Among his favorites are Van Gogh, Di Vinci and, especially, Frida Kahlo. “Frida was handicapped and handicapped people can accomplish a lot.” In addition to visual art, Aaron also participates in the studio's Poetry Group and Drama Group, as well as the art history/critique group "Art Talk."
Of the studio, Aaron says, “I like it because there are people to talk to and you get to choose what you want to do in your art. I like to get the creative juices flowing. It feels good!”
To see some of Aaron's artwork, check out his artist page.