The Angels Among Us


List of Artworks with Images

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These paintings explore the fragility and mystery of the figure within dynamic abstract environments. In other words, the abstract space contains and infuses the figure. This current series is of the angels of Hollywood Cemetery, a place where some of my relatives are, and where the faded glory of a former Richmond is on display.

Overflowing with hauntingly beautiful funerary statues, Hollywood Cemetery attracts visitors who stroll among the rolling hills overlooking the James River and the downtown Richmond area. It offers scenic views as well as poignant spots for reflection in the Gothic landscape.

When I was in art school at VCU one of the attractions for an artist, indeed any feeling person, would be to go to this place. I was very attracted to the Victorian sculptures there, and realized they spoke of Richmond’s gentile past, and the care one took with remembrances. My reaction to the neo-Classical angels has always been one of awe and envy, that one artist could sculpt something so timeless and beautiful. In my college days, when we would visit the cemetery and take pictures, the angels were the most compelling attractions there.

The experience of painting the angels is at times fascinating.  Or confusing. Though I have painted the figure within an abstract environment in the past, this time the exploration involves finding a “lightness” in the picture, perhaps even transcendence. In other words, I want to make paintings that encompass the feeling of floating, of light… an expression of the spiritual. I want each painting to be like a flower, something that simply grows, as if by magic. Something God put there for our sustenance. Something that just happened.

Artist’s Biography

Aaron Bowles is a modernist figurative painter whose themes involve relationships, dreams, and mythology. He also paints the dramatically changing qualities of nature in the Chesapeake Bay region. Aaron holds a bachelors degree from Virginia Commonwealth University where he focused on graphic design and illustration. He continued his art education at the graduate level by studying painting at George Mason University. A former assistant professor of design, Aaron taught art at George Mason and Northern Virginia Community College. Aaron is also a digital creative director and illustrator, whose artwork has appeared in noted publications, and in national advertising campaigns. Aaron is engaged in an exploration to integrate the human figure into an abstract environment and has a special interest in dreams and personal stories. His work is in several regional galleries, and he enjoys commissions. Aaron works from his studio in the Scott’s Addition area of Richmond, VA.

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