Aaron Zulpo: Tales of American Adventures
As a figurative painter, my work contains various visual motifs that depict multilinear narratives. My cityscapes embrace the overwhelming density of urban life, showing both mundane and obscure stories that are paired together to elicit a sense of suspense and tension in the viewer. I have recently transferred these narratives scenes into different genres, the recent being my Western American art series. Western art and its connection to American identity is an anomaly to me due to its long visual traditions that have remained the same for roughly 200 years. My new body of work is based on the desire to record and participate in this phenomenon, as it is one of the grandest and oldest traditions of American culture.
Tales of American Adventures exhibition contains two groups of paintings. The first narrates historical imagery of Kit Carson, a romanticized American trapper and army scout.
The second group illustrates old western train robberies told from a single perspective in a sequential series.
Kit Carson was an American frontiersman who charted the Oregon Trail and lead various other expeditions across the United States during the 19th century. He fought in the Mexican American War, the Civil War, and had close contact with several American Indian tribes. Kit Carson was fictionalized during his lifetime, as his heroic deeds symbolized the quintessential American hero at the time. Using complicated narrative scenes and simple snapshots, this series attempts to authentically capture Caron's various anecdotes.
The train robbery series was inspired by various Western tropes from contemporary media. These paintings resemble a movie storyboard, appearing in a sequential set and told from a single vantage point. They have qualities recognizable to how the Wild West is portrayed cinematically. Using bright colors, simplified figures and uniform perspective, the compositions create visual clarity for the viewer within the dynamic narrative scenes.