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Multi-Media Artist Aaron Axelrod Took Over Barnsdall Park Last Week

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Aaron Axelrod in action


Aaron Axelrod wears rabbit ears, very big ones hanging and balancing above his head, but we could barely see them as the artist was DJing after dark while projecting multi-media on the façade of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House inside Barnsdall Park in Los Angeles. He was wearing his pink bunny ears encrusted of crystals this time, since the Austrian crystal company Swarovski was the sponsor of his wild weekend at Barnsdall.

The artist took over the entire park for the whole weekend, from July 15th to 17th, with a gallery presenting his exhibit ‘Dark Matter’, an ensemble of very brightly colored paintings, sculptures, and videos, and the Hollyhock House serving as a giant screen for his own fantasy. Many people got a view of his madness, as the house got new facelifts, successively repainted with bright colors, zebra, leopard, or snake prints, geometrical designs to some pure psychedelic impressions. The performance, which was called ‘Ayahuasca Purge’, lasted for hours three days in a row, and meanwhile you could see Axelrod happy as a kid, dancing behind his computer along a few handpicked tunes: a few recognizable songs (Panda Bear, Aretha Franklin, Portishhead) and some far less known or even obscure (Monogold, David Lynch’s remix of Zola Jesus…).

It was the first time an artist has been given free reign of the entire art park, and the result was surprising as Axelrod’s work is very playful: he says to be inspired by ‘Dr. Seuss, Walt Disney, donuts and Wu-tang’. To accompany his multimedia show, his ‘Dark Matter’ exhibit had pieces called ‘Melting Rainbows’, a multi-media series of brightly colored paints spread across a curved transparent surface which even inspired a national TV commercial, ‘Freedom of the Press’, a series of bad reception TV news channels paintings, inspired by the distortion of our news TV media, ‘String Theory’, a series of neon-light mixed media paintings, ‘Frozen paint, a series of psychedelic sculptures and ‘Mermaid Vomit’, ‘Ectoplasm’, ‘The Simpsons’,… it was as varied and crazy as his projections on the Hollyhock House and he looked like a lucky guy, a grown-up kid, just having fun at doing what he likes the best.

Axelrod’s work has been displayed in galleries, museums and public spaces in cities across the country, and his resume includes collaborations with Walt Disney, KCRW, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, TOMS, Myspace, Coachella, Skee.TV, Vans, LA Sheriffs Dept. and even Google!

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