Continuing through June 11, 2011
Aaron Parazette's latest batch of "Color Key" paintings plays around with color field dimension and geometry to create three-dimensional imagery resembling cut gems and unnatural crystals. The irregular-shaped canvases - ovals and other oblong shapes - emphasize Parazette's hard-edged abstractions. There's an instinctual way of working at play here, with random patterns of color emerging in some works. Parazette might be most known for his abstract word paintings of surfer slang like "stoked" and "kook," but these new pieces are far more worthwhile and interesting.
At times, color shards are fanned in a natural gradation and at others they clash sharply. Parazette shifts wildly from employing a strict, analytical method to just winging it. And here's where speculations get made, chalking this ability up to Parazette's surfing background. Nothing in these paintings alludes to surfing, however, and to draw such a connection unfairly magnetizes these works to Parazette's word paintings, which are completely different both visually and intellectually.
The "Color Key" paintings are best enjoyed for their purely visual mysteries. Occasionally, Parazette inexplicably interrupts a group shape formation with white space and a hard-colliding color, like a pane of bright orange against a cluster of blue and green triangles and rhombuses. Two large circular canvases use dueling focal points to methodically bend the rules of perspective. Whether formal or chaotic, Parazette's abstractions are pleasing both for their flawless execution and big visual flair.
McClain Gallery, Houston, Texas