1969 presents Aaron Zulpo: Up & Up, the artist’s first major exhibition in New York City, consisting of seven new narrative paintings and the debut of oil pastels on paper.
Zulpo’s paintings are memory-in-action. Two recurring lovers dance, recreate, gambol against vacation backdrops and romantic settings. Culled from the artist’s personal experiences and romps through Thailand, down ski slopes in Denver and date nights out with his real-life partner, the paintings depict an idealized union in action.
The bond that unites the couple in Up & Up is most evident in La Fanciulla del West. As he is seated with her behind him, the couple fold into one. Her long hair drapes over his head – love is blind and blonde – echoing the curtains and scrims all around them at the opera.
In Our First Time and No Swimming After Dark, Zulpo demonstrates his proficiency, artistic ambition and long-standing interest in architecture and sequential art through the composition of his paintings. The ease of how the paint appears on the surface belies the complexity of all the figures and goings-on, as if the sequence in an entire comic book collapsed on to a single plane. While the viewer sees everything that is happening consequently, the two main actors in the paintings seem to see and relate only to each other. Zulpo’s paintings remind us that intimacy partly requires a couple to believe that the outside world does not exist.
Aaron Zulpo (b.1985, Chicago Illinois) works in Brooklyn, New York. His paintings have been in numerous exhibitions including solo exhibitions with Project: ARTspace and most recently at Visions West Contemporary in 2017. His work has also been exhibited at VOLTA NY, and PULSE Miami Beach where he was awarded by the Perez Art Museum Picks. He received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Painting in 2008.