Aaron Nagel is as good as they come. Last week e welcomed me into his apartment/web design office/painting studio to get a glimpse of 11 new oil paintings to be hung at The Shooting Gallery on March 6th. I was the second person to see the entire collection, not including Ty (Aaron’s sweet bunny rabbit cat).

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His two bedroom spot in Piedmont was filled to the brim with paintings of luminous peachy skin and glossy black. It felt like all eyes were on me as I sat in his living room stacked with portraits- not a bad feeling when these models are flawless babes! But they aren’t just “hot” or even “sexy” cuz that doesn’t equal good art. These women are soulful, their eyes are telling of deep pain or love or desire. They are the Scarlett Johanssons of Lost in Translation and the Melanie Laurents of Inglorious Bastards. I feel honored to have these goddesses surrounding me at work for the next month, although to be honest, it’s kinda intimidating.

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Something interesting about Aaron is that he has never had more than a single beer in his life. He travelled the world with his punk band for ten years, starting at age 15, and seeing the not-so-glorious backstage alcoholics turned him off to drinking. I admire his will! No wonder he’s such a good painter, and self taught too.

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15 year old Aaron and his punk band, Link 80 (he’s the blond one in the middle)

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Still on the easel, it looked like the model was being crucified… very creepy. In line with Aaron’s theme of martyrdom and Catholic saints.

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If looks could kill

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Same model- what a true natural beauty.

My favorite piece in the show next to Aaron’s in progress self portrait

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The cat that thinks he’s a dog

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Aaron’s full sleeve by San Francisco tattoist, Grime

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Beautiful original block prints by Aaron’s friend, Masami Teraoka

You can also see full studio visit on The Shooting Gallery blog or jump to flickr for just the pics. Come meet Aaron on March 6th at The Shooting Gallery, I’ll be there! (duh)