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Boy oh boy if there is any artist in the world that can put me in heals it is Aaron Shepard. It was in 2008 that Aaron approached me to "assist" in his "Midway" exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center. Now what I mean by assist is not necessarily help with setting up the exhibition, nor paint walls, not even help advertise the show, basically what he wanted me to "assist" with was simple; dress yours truly up in in a black top hat and tails, red sequined bow-tie, corset, garters, g-string, thigh-high fish-net stalkings and to top it off, glittered ruby platform slippers. Aaron basically wanted me and the director of the gallery to actually be part of his "Midway" exhibition! So now that I have outed myself in more ways then one, you understand that Aaron is a very special artist and a someone you need to meet.
From the Gallery...
Aaron will be be kicking off CENTERpiece Gallery
's 2011 exhibition series with its signature program “Locals Only,” on February 17, 2011. The series is a biannual exhibition program that features the works of selected local artists from the Las Vegas community. The VIP opening reception with the artist will be on Thursday, February 17, 2010, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Drawing influence from the late 19th century Decadent movement,
Sheppard’s work incorporates layers of material, neon, wood, concrete, and hand drawings. Through his fascination with allegorical narrative and storytelling, Sheppard addresses ideas of desire and cultural norms. Specifically, he incorporates his own body into drawn or collaged images that is meant to juxtapose sexual identity and gender. “I continue to use my body as a canvas and object,” Sheppard says. “Images drawn or collaged are referential of my physical body and mind projections.”
Sheppard intuitively assembles physical materials and literary references to blur the boundaries between feminine and masculine, erotic and sacred. Sheppard’s series of Maleboxes, 12 individual “glory hole” sculptures with unique personalities alluding to the Twelve Apostles, are displayed at waist height, meaning to engage the viewer with the more suggestive nature of the work. Shakti SME, the centerpiece of the exhibition, touches upon themes of both the divine and profane with neon tubes pouring milk, white light from the figure’s breast-like udders, calling to mind the famed Artemis fountain at the Villa D’Este in Tivoli.
Sheppard received his MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2002 and currently lives in Las Vegas. His work is in the collections of the Sheldon Museum of Art and Lied Center of Performing Art in Nebraska. His work can also be viewed at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the Virginia Cable & Wireless Corp in Vienna, Virginia. Sheppard has exhibited at the Fringe Festival in Australia, and in galleries in New York, Tokyo, Beijing, London, Las Vegas and Washington DC. Most recently, Sheppard held a solo exhibition at Western Projects
in Los Angeles and has been reviewed and featured in numerous publications including the Las Vegas Review Journal, Las Vegas Sun and Desert Companion magazine.
Aaron Sheppard’s opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 17, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The public is invited to view the exhibition through April 10, during normal business hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For more information on the “Locals Only” series and other upcoming events, contact Gallery Director, Nicole Moffatt at 702-739.3314
3720 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
located across from the valet of Mandarin Oriental Hotel at City Center