I’m happy to announce another print release with 1xRUN. “Surface” is NOW AVAILABLE and limited to 100 — signed and numbered. Also for the first time, the original piece is also available in tandem with the print release. ordering info and everything you ever wanted to know about this painting is available at http://1xrun.com/runs/Surface_-_Prints_Original_Artwork

Thank you!

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Thought I would write a bit about my recent painting, “Lady With a Sphinx” which I humbly modeled after the Leonardo Da Vinchi painting, “Lady With an Ermine”.

This is my second attempt at a painting modeled after a classic, the first being my version (of Bouguereau’s version) of the Piéta. That one didn’t come out so good.  of course it doesn’t help that the originals, in both cases, are amazing. but of course they are. I have always liked “Lady With an Ermine”; the lighting on the figure, the stark background, the lettering in the upper left hand corner, and of course, the Ermine (because what the fuck is an ermine?!). Thankfully, we have wikipedia, and a wealth of probably true information on Da Vinchi’s Original piece (here). to start, an Ermine is “…a stoat in its winter coat…” and  ”…[they were] a traditional symbol of purity because it was believed an ermine would face death rather than soil its white coat.” cool right? (a stoat is a type of weasel by the way, I had to look that up too).

I thought it would be fun to redo the piece with a Sphinx, and I happen to know a model I painted for a small piece a few months back (here) that had one — and a particularly weasly one at that. so, perfect!


trying to get the reference photo looking similar was a challenge but an enjoyable one, as I never have a concrete idea of how I want reference to look, so there tends to be a lot of trial and error. this time, I messed with it until the pose and lighting was right, then just took a few hundred pictures there, with very subtle pose and expression changes.  I ended up doing a bunch of work in photoshop post as well, especially because we shot the cat first, then worried about the figure — so I had to combine elements from 3 or 4 different shots. I obviously took some liberties with the costume and hairstyle — not exactly because I didn’t care to get that specific, but I didn’t feel those elements were necessities (and i’m no stylist or hairdresser). Margarita also has normal shoulders and collar bones, so the giant-trap/broken-shoulder look the Lady with an Ermine has wasn’t gonna happen.

One interesting aspect I learned during the research (wikipedia, again…hopefully mostly true) is that not only is the black background on the “Lady with an Ermine” not original, but the lettering in the top left corner isn’t either. Conservation is one thing, but adding text to a Da Vinchi?! pretty nuts. Also, whoever added the text, “LA BELE FERONIERE. LEONARD DAWINCI” mistook the subject for the Belle Ferronière, which “…is the Leonardo portrait in the Louvre, whose sitter bears such a close resemblance…”. That piece is also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman, so when it came to adding text to my version, I went with “LA BELE INCONNU”, roughly translated as “the beautiful unknown”. I decided against writing a Polish phonetical transcription of my own name.


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This is the last week of my show “Fathoms” at Lyons Wier Gallery in New York. If you’re in the area on or before June 7th, please drop by and let me know what you think. It’s had a really good response and i’m already very much looking forward to the next one.

The same day “Fathoms” comes down, “Three Figures” opens in LA (it’s been a busy few months!). I’m very excited to be showing with Jeremy Mann and Sean Cheetham and to be showing for the first time with Maxwell Alexander Gallery. If you’re in LA area, please come by. I’ll have 4 brand new smaller pieces along with some fantastic work by Jeremy and Sean. See you then! (info below)

Adobe Photoshop PDF

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Got a cool little studio visit from Platinum Cheese online here: http://platinumcheese.com/2014/05/08/studio-visit-with-aaron-nagel/

Also an interview and some “Fathoms” coverage from LiveFastMag here: http://livefastmag.com/2014/05/interview-series-aaron-nagel-nsfw/

A big thank you to Platinum Cheese and Live Fast Mag!

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NEW PIECES and “FATHOMS” opening


My second New York solo show, “Fathoms” will be opening Friday, May 9th at Lyons Wier Gallery. 7 brand new pieces that I’ve been working on all hours since December — if you are in the area, please come by and say hello!

Press Release from Lyons Wier Gallery:

“the Accomplice, the Abettor”, 38″ x 64″, oil on canvas. 2014



“I happened upon Aaron Nagel’s artwork while surfing the art-world blogosphere a few years back.  His images had all the makings of a great painting–wonderfully composed, impeccably painted, and slightly ominous. The work was swiftly etched in my brain and I had to find who this painter was.  Through due diligence, I learned that Nagel is an accomplished musician, graphic designer and self-taught artist.  Being self-taught added extra intrigue for me, as his painting prowess is simply astonishing.  I continued to watch Nagel’s artistic growth and eventually added one of his pieces to our personal collection.  Living with the work allowed me to truly understand that Nagel’s painting ability shares equal footing with his graphic design interest and skills, and that the work somehow has its own distinct yet indescribable timbre.

“Fathoms” evidences Nagel’s enduring admiration for classical oil painting both in technique and composition. This exhibition builds upon his last body of work by advancing his understanding and use of light and shadow.  Working with live models and photography, Nagel seemingly sculpts the figure with brushwork and shadow play.  His renderings recall a litany of historical and contemporary painters that work with the female nude.  However Nagel transcends many of his contemporaries and comparisons in the way he encapsulates the spirit of his models with a blend of self-confidence, inner-peace and personal strength. There is a palpable sense of assuredness whereby one is immediately captivated by the conceptual context of the subjects’ body language and eye contact (or lack of).

Another engaging element in Nagel’s work is his use of typography as a compositional and aesthetic element. “The Accomplice Abettor MMXIV,” (seen above) is not only the name of the painting but also a formal element that clearly pays homage to historical artwork as well as to the artist’s skill in graphic design.  I applaud these efforts as I have always contended that if the title of the piece is an integral part of the work, it should be a part its composition.”  – Michael Lyons Wier

"oubliette", 54" x 38", oil on canvas. 2014

“oubliette”, 54″ x 38″, oil on canvas. 2014



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I’ll be heading to Miami this year during Art Basel and will be showing these two new pieces w/ Lyons Wier Gallery at Art Miami. I’ll also have a small piece on view with Thinkspace at Scope. Very much looking forward to the trip!


“All Across I” and “All Across II” – 38″ x 64″ each, oil on canvas. 2013

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Very excited to post this first of two paintings that will be on view with Lyons Wier Gallery at Art Miami this year.


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I’ll be doing another very limited release w/ 1xRUN this Thursday, August 22. The proofs for this run look great, and are pretty big at 30″ x 18″. If this is release in anything like the last few w/ 1xRUN they will likely go quickly. Check out the release page along with a recent interview here.

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I wanted to do quick post on how generous Jerry’s Artarama has been in light of my recent purge (full story here). Jerry’s Artarama is a chain of family-owned art stores on the East Coast w/ a pretty huge online e-store. I’d heard of Jerry’s, but had never been a customer — mostly because I’d gotten used to traveling to a few of my local art stores (all mostly now part of the Blick corp) for everything I needed. In the days following the loss of all my art materials, Katie from Jerry’s Artarama got on touch and told me they wanted to send me a bunch of art supplies to help me get back to work. I told her what I generally use, and within a week, I had a shipment of art supplies on my porch — from brush cleaners to paints (they carry a French brand called Charvin which I had never used before but really like). A day or two later, a utility cart, nicer than anything i’ve used before and built specifically for artists, was delivered. apparently there is an easel and studio light on it’s way as well. let me repeat that I had no relationship with the company at all prior to all of this. i’d never even been a customer — they just sent me all this stuff as a show of support. there wasn’t even a request to help promote the company as a result (which I would have been more than happy to do). how amazing is that?!

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 1.00.44 PMSo I wanted to let you know what kind of company Jerry’s Artarama is, because I think it’s important.  i’ve gotten so comfortable paying an arm and a leg at various art store chains — and generally assuming that none of them have any real support for the artistic community, beyond what they can readily profit from. Then Jerry’s, a pretty large company by all accounts,  goes and does this for me, a not very well known artist from the other side of the country. I will be forever grateful. I was not a customer before, but I certainly am now.

So thank you Katie and Jerry’s Artarama!

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As a visual artist, and as someone who tends to get lost in my own writings; peppering them with unnecessary punctuation and run-on sentences, I’m probably not going to do a very good job thanking you for all your support this last week — but I’m going to try. I was, and continue to be, completely dumbstruck by the level of support, both monetarily and otherwise, i’ve received since the moving truck was liberated from my care. I’ve been neck deep in insurance claims and struggling to collect what things I needed for everyday living these past few days, and although I lost a LOT of stuff, it’s been so much less traumatic knowing I have so many friends and family members out there in world — willing to send a text, leave a comment, a voicemail, or even part with some of their hard-earned money. It’s really been amazing.

So thank you thank you. I cant tell you how much it means.


My renters insurance will hopefully cover a little under a third of what I lost — which of course doesn’t include anything in my studio, which was deemed a “business” (separate insurance policy required).


lots of work to do.

My policy would have topped out three or four times over with the scope of this loss though, so it doesn’t much matter what is classified as what. I am certainly happy I had it at all. That indiegogo campaign, and the $12,500 (and counting?!) that people have donated to get me back on my feet (productively speaking), will really save my ass. eloquent? no. true? yes. since we put it up, I’ve been both thankful to tears, and wracked with guilt and embarrassment — often both, stacked on top of each other in an uneven pile of mental instability. our $10k fundraising goal seemed anything but conservative when we started, but after doing a detailed list of all I lost, in the studio alone — well, 12 years or so of art supplies really adds up. Putting that campaign up, and admitting to the world that things weren’t great and that I could use help, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but some very close friends and family pushed me in the right direction, and I’ll be forever grateful.

I’ve been trying to look at this whole thing in a positive light. most of what I lost was just stuff, some stuff that I was fairly attached to yes, but mostly stuff that can be replaced. the sentimental things that can’t be though; the artwork, the pictures — losing that stuff forever is heartbreaking, but it could be worse. both my parents have been sick with Cancer within the last 5 years, my dad made it through, my mother did not. that makes losing a moving truck full of things seem an inconvenience. [perhaps even sharing that publicly is a way to assuage my guilt, offset my vulnerability, discourage sympathy in favor of empathy -- but I feel I owe a little openness.] so i’m left with “it could be worse”, which is both the best option, (alternates being: obsess over cataloging every single item in that truck and never leave the house, go back to the Bay Area and drive around Oakland looking for errant u-hauls, move to Nebraska and paint bushes and trees and things.) and a necessity if I want to get back to work. so back to work it is, and again, I cannot thank you enough for making it possible.

So the new studio project starts today, and it’s entirely due to your support and generosity — I am in your debt.


PS. special THANK YOUs to the following: Lauren Benezra, Kathryn McEachern, Paul Nagel, Dave Marchand, Danny and Black Candy Publishing, Andrew Hosner, Danny Zelig and Lisa Fowler, Pam Fanning, Monica Lundy, Gavin Castleton, Grime, Shawn Barber and Kim Saigh, and tons more.

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