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Robbie Aaron

Empty | 34″ x 41″ | Watercolor on paper

Artist Statement

I was born going 80 mph in a car on the expressway. This fast-paced, isolated, and energetically strange entrance to the world became a metaphor for my life in the city. Painting is my way of commenting on the tensions between my lived reality and idealized cultural representations of contemporary life. I investigate the dynamics of urbanity, including the fragmentation of its effects, and the obvious contradictions of what perfection means to us; both unnerving and mesmerizing.
By exploring emotional experiences through real and imagined landscapes, I’m acknowledging that memories and knowledge are a set of systems that are free floating with no absolute reality. The layering and scraping off of many layers of paint mirrors my fascination with optical illusions, and serves as an important act of meditation. My vague and anonymous subjects are inspired by photography I have taken in Detroit of crumbling architecture, appropriated models in fashion magazines, and fragmented images from my childhood, deconstructed and recomposed to arrive at a sense of detachment that summarizes my experience of living in an urban setting.

Artwork/s at the following locations:
Anton Art Center
Collected Detroit
Hatch Art

Artist Website + Social Media:
Instagram @robbaaron

MR/QD Is Made Possible BY

Artists stipends made possible by Kresge Arts in Detroit

For details and more info on making a contribution to Mighty Real/Queer Detroit, please contact us at

About MR/QD

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is an art exhibition in June 2022 devoted to 77 years (1945-2022) of Detroit LGBTQ+ art 

The exhibition presents a month-long historical examination of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and its longtime allies, featuring established & emerging Detroit artists, as well as artists whose careers were shortened by HIV/AIDS.

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to promoting positive and meaningful images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through artistic and intellectual means. © 2023. All Rights Reserved.