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Meet Aaron Parazette, a Houston-based artist whose geometric paintings have earned him spots in over 200 exhibitions. From small canvases to murals wrapping around gallery walls, his calculated use of shape and color are a result of his quest to find ‘magic in the materials, mathematics, and mechanics of painting.’ Read about Parazette’s favorite Houston gallery, his love of surfing, and fondness for sharing art with his daughter.
What is the most memorable moment from your career?
My fondest career memory is seeing my two-year-old daughter, Joy, doing her sticker work on the floor at the opening of my solo show at Marlborough Gallery in NY. I was very pleased with the show and my work, but seeing Joy earnestly engaged in her own world in the middle of the scene somehow made it all perfect.
What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the art industry?
Be curious, be interested, be interesting, be friendly (or not), engage, have positions and be willing to state them. Always be making your work, and when success arrives, redouble your efforts.
I always imagine that my best work is ahead of me, and I’m currently searching for the next source of momentum. I’m sure that painting, in some form, will play a part. I’m calm, curious, and invested, and I believe the answer is near.
What is your favorite museum or gallery?
Without a doubt, my favorite museum is The Menil Collection in Houston. The collection is the beautiful effect of two people making a deep commitment to art, culture, and peace, and then gifting the results of that commitment to the people. It is a true cabinet of curiosities; it’s always free, and it’s only a few blocks from my home and studio.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I grew up by the ocean, and surfing was my first true passion. If I hadn’t become an artist, I might have followed that path and found my way to a committed life on the water. If I had, I’m sure it would have been thrilling and rewarding in its own way, but I would have missed the adventures and people I’ve met in the life I have — a trade I’d never make.
How would you describe yourself as an artist in 80 characters?
I’m searching for magic in the materials, mathematics, and mechanics of painting.
Picasso or Matisse?
Matisse. Color and generosity make the world real.
Emma Watson or Scarlett Johansson?
Scarlett J all the way.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee. Black. All day long and into the night.
Fame or money?
Money— to do the things I’d do if I were famous, without being noticed.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate x Chocolate
Train or plane?
Either as long as I have a window seat.
Interview by Barbi Barbee