Prepare to be sucked into the cosmos, and explore the vast, sublime, and vaguely familiar worlds of Aaron Morse.
Weaving in and out, across tumultuous, textural terrain, Aaron Morse’s paintings’ are extraordinarily ambitious. Influenced by the geography, history and mythology of the American Southwest, he marks out these strange and wonderful contours for us to follow, with traces of human influence and natural wonder.
These epic, other-worldy illustrations are a combination of “American Colonial history, 19th century Romantic literature, travel and leisure propaganda, nature guides, hunting, whaling, and 20th century politics, among other phenomena”.
Synchronising reality and fantasy, Morse incorporates a collage-style approach, layering complex elements you might expect to see from a 70’s sci-fi illustration or a vintage National Geographic. He is both philosophical about our history and politics, and a fantasist. A dreamer of worlds.
‘Timeline (Natural History)’ above, is a beautifully illustrated big bang explosion of exotic wildlife. It makes a statement on the ecology of animals, and how we coexist in these energetic and vibrant landscapes. Every animal conceivable is tightly packed together, divided by horizontal strips, into logical categories, starting with the Universe and then blasting down to earth, diving through land and sea, from sea life to dinosaurs to ape, and eventually man.
His colour palette is also indicative of how he places and layers these elements together. The colour choices are broad yet faded, evoking a time lived. As though he is documenting and categorising what he’s found on his adventures, and philosophising on the history, the topography and the nature of these lands, and where this might lead.
Morse’s colourful complex layers are strange and wonderful, and encourage us to explore the world around us, past and present, and beyond the limits of our imagination.
Continue exploring Aaron Morse’s worlds via his website.
Banner image: ‘Deluge’, 2016 – acrylic and watercolour – All image copyright of artist.