- Marshall Portrait, oil on panel, 36" x 48", 2019
Viewing Aaron Hauck's paintings is like seeing images captured in strobe—faces flashing frozen in time. Like multiple exposure photography, he layers images to create a dynamic sense of movement.
About the development of his technique Hauck says, "The doubling in my work really started in my sketchbooks. I fill pages with random people, objects, things I see, and if the initial attempt didn't look right or I wanted to try again, I draw directly over previous work. It has an energy that my paintings lacked. The repeating and repainting lends itself to ideas about time elapsing but also has an interior dialogue."
Gallery depicts the kinetic vitality of an exhibit in Manhattan, something that during times of COVID almost seems like a throwback to another era. In a similar fashion, New Year's Eve captures friends seated around a dinner table; a man stands at the far end making a toast, while a half-eaten pizza lies in the foreground. A dog underneath completes the homey scene. Hauck's punctilious use of color adds vivaciousness.
- Self Portrait Red Socks, oil on canvas, 30" x 40", 2020
In contrast, some of Hauck's portraiture focuses on single frames and employs a muted, austere palette conveying a sense of stillness that allows the viewer to more carefully consider the features and character of his subjects. House Fire achieves both calm and chaos with blazing orange flames and thick black smoke, like a snapshot of disaster in progress. Though Hauck usually paints on canvas, he has also done large-scale murals on buildings in Kingston and Bushwick.
Hauck relocated to the New Paltz area a few years ago and says his style has evolved since he moved upstate. "My work has become more relationship centered. With current circumstances, I spend a lot of time alone and have really been able to focus on painting. The pace has slowed down, and that has been very beneficial. I have self-reflection time, and that has led me to really ask myself what kind of paintings I want to make. The longer I am here, the more I appreciate the area. I loved living in New York City, but it's nice to have a yard."
- Visiting, oil on canvas, 36" x 72", 2020
Consistent throughout Hauck's work is evidence of the physicality of painting. The viewer cannot help but notice the weight of his line, the thickness of his brush strokes, the almost sculptural layers of paint. "I have always liked the idea in painting that the process is important," he says. "Those things tell more of a story and remind you that it's a learning process, visually."
As to how he wants his paintings to be perceived, Hauck says, "As long as people are curious about my work, I feel like that's successful. I find it best to let the viewer decide. It has always seemed like other artists have liked my work more than it has mass appeal. I am pretty happy with that."