Biography

BÉA AARONSON

STATEMENT

“Whatever I do, the image is the heartbeat of my identity. Multiple and “polypetal,” the image is dug within the core of being, harnessed within the energies of becoming. Images breathe life because the image is skin…

Art?: To renew the saps.

To welcome emotions and sublimate their paths, transform their energies into images…Whether paint on canvas, paper collages, sculptures, poem-objects, words, music, the image is a memory, yesterday’s memory, today’s memory, tomorrow’s memory… never ceasing to ask questions… flying away with colors, forms, textures, words, music… breaking the monolithic power of absolute answers, fighting dogmas, killing pre-conceived, accepted ideas…

No one style, but a ceaseless search. Aaronson ventures inside to remove herself from time and fashionable tracks.

NO RULES. BUT INTEGRITY IN THE ECLECTIC FRENZY OF CREATION.

Art?…A walking memory… A memory of the senses…within and out of time…”

BIOGRAPHY

Three times the winner of the official Piccolo Spoleto USA Poster, in 1989, 2001, and 2005, Aaronson is a self-taught multimedia artist, art critic, curator, award-winning poet, published author, stage performer, and international lecturer. She also teaches French, and gives multimedia conferences on art and literature; from Corfu to Toulouse, from Colorado to Maryland and Ohio, from Lebanon, Israel to Canada, Hawaii and Paris, she disseminates her thoughts and images.

Her creative journey is an adventure of the senses, a synaesthesia of energies and media…beyond frames, beyond categories. Oils, acrylics, canvas, wood, paper, found objects, watercolor, charcoal, monotype, etchings, collage, photography, ceramic, bronze casting, clay… Aaronson touches and transforms everything. She sublimates boundaries and reaches the heart of expression.

Aaronson was born in Paris in 1956. She studied history of art and art theory at the Sorbonne and L’Ecole du Louvre. In 1978 she goes to South Africa where she begins to paint and sculpt to exorcize the socio-political demons of apartheid. Her rhythmic colors vibrate, a Brücke-Cobra mix of sensations, anger, violence and organic primeval enthusiasm. She receives from the University of Cape Town her BA Honors in History of Art with a thesis on symbolism Le monde de Gustave Moreau: Symbolisme et Transcendance.

She travels a lot: Africa, the Middle East, India, Nepal, America, South America, Europe, the Caribe Islands, Iceland, Polynesia. In 1987, Aaronson finally installs herself in Charleston, South Carolina. Her son Alistair is then only 3 years old.

Whilst painting and sculpting, Aaronson writes and publishes. She earns her MA in French literature from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, with a thesis on Baudelaire Le sang Baudelaire: Blessure et Hémopoiesis. Her essay Goya-Baudelaire Le grotesque existentiel wins the first prize in comparative literature studies.

She pursues her artistic explorations in her studio, 98 Church Street. Her studio has become a palace of images where surrealism plays with expressionism. Doors, floors, and ceilings are animated with strange gazes, photographs, murals, words scattered here and there among delirious objects, it breathes a mind and a heart in ebullition.

Nurtured by Whitman, Gertrude Stein, Carlos Williams, Garcia Lorca, Neruda, the whole Spanish Generation of 27, her Baudelairian visions grow, her Rimbaldian spirit escapes to take shape in her work. Exacerbated imagination. Bosch, Goya, the Fauves, Picasso, Matissse, Modigliani, Miro, Dali, Magritte, Duchamp, Kirchner, Rotluff, Kolwitz, Soutine, Pollock, Louise Bourgeois, a crazed dance agitates her work with all the fantasmagoria of the past century.

Aaronson would like to “understand from the interior,” to abolish the frontiers of the possible, to kill the incarcerating logic of the academic.

Always between brushes, scissors, glue, clay, lenses and pens, she directs, produces and performs in Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell for the International Festival of Poetry ERATO at the College of Charleston. For the Colloque International d’Etudes Francophones, also in Charleston, she gives life to her own poetry in a spectacle Le corps des mots, a thrombolytic collection of erotic poems sung and danced on a music she composes with the visual dimension of her work projected on the surrounding walls.

She produces and performs in another multimedia show, Respirations for the Appalachian University at Boone. She creates satirical decors for the provoking staging of Molière’s Tartuffe for the Dock Street Theatre of Charleston.

Within the movements of her creative journey Aaronson does not stop. She swims another ocean with a doctorate in comparative literature, harmonizing French, English, American, Spanish and Hebrew cultures. She earned her PhD in November 2003 with her dissertation: The Bark and the Sap A Midrashic Reading of Marcel Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu. Presently looking for a publisher.

Her studio moves: 356 1/2 King street, an old lumber storage loft from the 19th century. The images grow. A Dada concoction of Dolls, mannequins, glass eyes, tortoises carapaces, monkey skulls, truck coils, car engines, insects, hybrid objects, assemblages-constructions, what Aaronson calls “object-poems,” blossoming palettes with unheard saps, images not yet shored, at the edge of meeting a shape, caressed by intuition, pulsating with imagination. The studio is the interior, the matrix of creation. The studio is “l’arrivage,” the near shoring of images, the edge of birth.

At the same time, she publishes and illustrates her first book Baudelaire-Miller: Sexual Squalor in Paris, which can now be found in the private collection of Harvard’s library. She also publishes art reviews for Fiberart America, The Post and Courier in Charleston, interdisciplinary articles for Peace Review in England, Found Object in New York, poems for literary magazines such as Illuminations in Scotland, and Deus Loci in Baltimore, and scholarly essays for the Encyclopedia of 20th century Jewish Writers. Her art work is chosen to make the cover of Tessera, a book published in Canada, Blood- Le sang, published in 2003 by the Women’s Press of Toronto, which also contains two of her photographs and two of her poems. Her ink drawings can also be seen in Sirena, an interdisciplinary magazine published by Johns Hopkins University.

In 1997, Aaronson curates a controversial installation/exhibit ERASURES, at the Slave Market of Charleston SC. Together with 6 other artists, from Sarajevo, the Caribeans, Lithunia, and the USA, Aaronson explored and shared with the public her vision of Historical revisionism, and tried to bring diginity to a wounded past.

In 2000, Aaronson exhibits her work in Lebanon, at the Beyrut International Contemporary Art Salon, and in France, at the Strasbourg International Contemporary Art fair, known as the F.I.A.C.

In January 2001 Aaronson inaugurates the Miami Art Fair with a performance of Baudelaire’s, Rimbaud’s and Verlaine’s poetry, alongside her own poetry, together with a presentation of her synaesthetic collages. In July of the same year, she exhibits her multimedia work at the Pierre Cardin Art Foundation at the Chateau de Sade in Provence,

In October 2001 she participates in the International Fair of Contemporary Art of La Bastille, in Paris.

In 2003, she exhibits her work at the much coveted and respected Salon of Contemporary Art of Montrouge, near Paris.

In 2005, a new studio is born, The Little Yellow House at 82 Warren Street, still in Charleston. Her paintings and collages travel to Paris, where they can be seen at the Galerie de L’Europe, 55 rue de Seine.

In 2006, she exhibits her photographs at 53 Cannon Art Gallery in Charleston, SC. Aaronson’s collages cross the ocean again to be exhibited in Lyon, France, at the Galerie Françoise Souchaud, a contemporary art gallery specializing in outsider, visionary art. In November of the same year her poster image La Belle et le Beaujolais was chosen to celebrate the festival of the Beaujolais Nouveau in Charleston.

In March and April 2007, she exhibits her wall sculptures and dream paintings at the Symphony Show House in Charleston, and her Visions of France at Coco’s Gallery in Mount Pleasant, SC. Her paintings “Synergy” and “What’s up” were chosen as the front and back cover of POLYPHONY, a multi lingual literary magazine founded by the College of Charleston, which also published her play The thing is, and her poem Yesterday’s Way.

In May 2007, during the festival of Spoleto USA, Aaronson organizes, together with fellow artist Stephen Eaker, three thought provoking exhibitions: Metamorphoses at Spark Gallery, Dare Everything at Coco’s Gallery, and Old Charleston New Visions, a Dada Surrealist installation sponsored by Art Magazine and Monarch Development, in a private Charleston house on Alexander Street.

Since her arrival in San Miguel de Allende in May 2008, Aaronson has given numerous lectures on art, literature, and philosophy, for the Rotary Club of San Miguel, in private venues such as Chamonix restaurant, Kuni Boni restaurant, and Galeria Bordelo. The lectures series is now offered at Casa Verde, where Aaronson and Eaker can quench the thirst and satisfy the curiosity of their growing audience.

Aaronson has also performed the role of Chloé in Israel Horowitz’s My Old Lady, and Lilian Troy in Rudnik’s I Hate Hamlet, at the Santa Ana Teatro; she continues to teach French as well; and she has exhibited her welded metal sculptures, collages, assemblages, photographs and paintings in various venues such as Galeria Aspen on Mesones; La Obra on Calle Larosa in Colonial Allende; Yam Gallery in the Institute Allende; John Adams Gallery on Canal #9; the Museo del Ayutamiento Plaza Principal, sponsored by the Office of Tourism; Galeria Bordelo on Organos #17; as well as in many Art Fairs and Art Walks, one of which was the Feria Ambiental at the Parque Benito Juarez, focusing on Arte Povera, ecological and environmental art.

Corporate Collections

  • In Charleston, SC, USA
  • Rapid Granulators
  • Southern Bell
  • Trident Tec. College
  • Hollings Cancer Center
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Mark Tanenbaum Law offices

Private Collections

  • Argentina
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • England
  • France
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • U.S.A: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Columbia, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Indiana.