ICBRKR EXTRAORDINAIRES: Meet Aaron Axelrod, Psychedelic Artist & Creative Genius
Welcome to our ICBRKR Extraordinaires Series, where every two weeks, we highlight one extraordinary ICBRKR. Our community is our backbone, and we’re proud to be BRKing the mold with such a passionate and engaging group of people. ⚡️
This week, we introduce you to Aaron Axelrod, a weird and wonderful artist creating amazing, disruptive and thoughtful projects that are impossible to fully describe in words. Before you check out his work in person, get to know this Art Aficionado, Fellow Foodie, Urban Explorer and Music Lover below, and connect with him in the ICBRKR app.
Aaron, please tell us about your art! What inspired you to become an artist?
I'm a visual artist based out of Los Angeles. Difficult to say what type of art I make as I change up my process and materials all the time to keep myself on my toes and to always force myself to try new things in different ways. Because of this, I find myself weaving in and out of many genres including painting, sculpture, performance art, projection mapping, photography, and installation, many times incorporating several of these into a single piece. A general theme that seems to run through all my work would be the aesthetic of psychedelia and the ideas of fairy tales as well the concepts of particle and astrophysics.
Aside from physical object making, an ongoing performance piece I do -- which I also have the most fun doing -- is "Melting Rainbows." I get to eat and spit paint, dance to music, and wear bunny ears, most of the time in the middle of a planetarium. It allows me to get out of the secluded studio setting and interact with people, something that can be hard to do when you’re making the usual painting and sculpture. This is also art making where the end result isn't important; it’s a piece that's all about process and the journey. This part of art has always intrigued me the most.
That sounds so fun! OK, so you’re definitely an Art Aficionado. What about your other ICBRKR qualities. What’s your favorite food? Song? City?
Fellow Foodie: It’s hard to say what my one favorite food is, but I can try and break it down based on my favorite types of food and where to get it... I love a good steak, but the one that stands out as extraordinary is the Kobe beef steak at Misono in Kobe, Japan. It is literally like steak butter, as soon as it hits your tongue, it dissolves, barely needing to chew, and the slivers of garlic, fried in the Kobe beef fat that accompanies it, make it extra special. Pizza is another one of those foods where there are countless places with amazing slices, but for me the one that takes the cake is the spicy pepperoni square slice at Prince St. Pizza in New York. The almost caramelized crust is perfectly crisp with a tender and soft buttery interior and the countless curled up oil-filled charred pepperoni slices on top make it second to none. Lastly, I couldn't do a food list without including my favorite taco. This would be the pastor taco at Taconazo in Tijuana, Mexico. It’s the perfect handheld food item. Corn tortillas made fresh to order in front of your face and filled with the best pastor you can find, then smothered in an avocado cream sauce, each taco individually wrapped like a present in wax paper… for those who couldn’t care less about calorie count and want all the tasty goodness, there’s also an insane version where instead of a tortilla they use a shell made of melted cheese. Good times!
Urban Explorer: Tokyo might be my favorite city. The culture, the architecture, its nature, the food, the people, the art, the history.... the toilets! It seems as though the people there know something the rest of us don't. Even down to the almost robot toilets they use, everything is well thought out and curated. For such a large city, one would think it would be dirty, but it’s easily one of the cleanest cities I've been to. When I was a student in elementary through high school in public schools in Los Angeles, the food that everyone would eat from the cafeteria was disgusting, greasy, salty, beige and bland... While in Tokyo, I would walk past so many school children on their lunch break always eating a beautiful Bento Box with fresh foods. Speaking of the culinary aspect of Tokyo, I had some of the best meals of my life there. From the amazing sushi at the fish markets, to the charred meats at a 3 person yakitori stall, even the 7/11s there have some of the best coffee and sandwiches in the city. I just got the sense that the people of Tokyo, and all of Japan for that matter, just care about the wellbeing and the community as a whole way more than we do here in the States. And once you have the opportunity to travel on one of the bullet trains there, one would wonder why every major city doesn't have something like that. Tokyo is also interesting in that it is not only one of the most ancient cities in the world, but it’s also arguably one of the most futuristic and technically advanced cities in the world. When you are there, you very aware of both of those things, which is weird because you would think they are so different and opposite that they couldn't co-exist. But they do... beautifully.
Music Lover: My favorite song... There are countless songs by countless bands in countless genres that bring me joy every time I hear them. I'll try to answer this by talking about my favorite music experience. Several years ago, one of my favorite bands, Animal Collective, had a two-night concert in the middle of the forest out in Big Sur. During one of their sets, they played a song called "Bees," one of the band’s more obscure songs. I already happened to be a fan of this song, but for some reason, when they played it there, in the middle of the forest, with projections of bees glowing on the surrounding trees and mountains, the smells and sounds of nature in the air, and the psychedelic auras all consuming all around, this became an anthem for me, and from then on out, every time I hear it, it brings me back to that moment where everything, for those couple of minutes, seemed perfect.
Wow, you’re giving us massive wanderlust! What would you say you love most about ICBRKR?
Connecting to people, especially those that run in different social and creative circles then myself, has always been important to me. Hearing different points of view and creative processes is extremely interesting, and helps with my own work so much. This is why ICBRKR is such a great concept. It does just that, and expands it even more by including people in cities from all over the world.
We love that we can help you expand your creative horizons! OK, last question: what is your guilty pleasure?
Art books, a definite guilty pleasure. I can't get enough of them, especially the really weird and obscure ones. I can't go into an art book store anywhere in the world without copping at least one or two.
Ha! Being an artist, I think you can justify that guilty pleasure easily enough! Thanks for sharing what makes you who you are, Aaron. We’re excited to count you among our ICBRKR Extraordinaires!
Use ICBRKR, available on iOS and Android, to connect with Aaron and other extraordinaires in LA, New York, London, and around the world. If you think you, or a fellow ICBRKR friend, make for the perfect feature, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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