Darren Aevermann, born and raised in the Chicago
area, moved to Portland in July 1999 shortly after graduating
from the University of Iowa. Though the 25-year-old artist's family
history is set in Germany, it's Spain that really gets his creative
Darren Aevermann believes in giving credit where he feels
credit is due.
"I'm not a particularly religious person, but
I do believe some of my inspiration comes from God," he said,
"and that my value comes not from wealth or appearances,
but that God makes me valuable. It's that richness I try to express
through my art and creativity.
"And in a way, I use art as a tool to cope
with life and the wacky roller coaster ride it's taking me on."
El foto grande
Darren's art has also been greatly influenced by Spanish and Latin
artists, including Tapies, Goya and Miro.
"The idea for my latest paintings came from
a trip I took to Barcelona last year, where I viewed Antoni Gaudi's
architecture," he said. "The series is my interpretation
of his work using color theory.
"I find inspiration in other artists, too.
I've learned a lot by studying Matisse and his techniques and
explorations in the use of paint as texture and vibrancy,"
he said. "I go to art history museums and exhibitions for
support and encouragement."
Darren studied art in high school and college. He graduated from
the University of Iowa in May 1999 with a degree in art and design.
His plans include grad school, with the desire to teach art at
the college level.
"I attended Columbia College Chicago for one
year as a design/drawing major," he said. "Then, through
the University of Iowa foreign exchange program, I spent a year
in Merida, Venezuela, as a classical figure painting/drawing major
at la Universidad de Los Andes and CUDA (Cultural Universidad
de Los Artes).
"On the plane enroute to South America I found
out I had failed my first course in Spanish. But once there I
found it fairly easy to pick up and was off and running within
weeks," he said. "Now I speak fluent Spanish and have
worked odd jobs as a translator."
Not wanting to limit himself to one medium, Darren
studied printmaking, metal smithing, sculpture, photography and
He considers his strengths to be painting and sculpture,
where he tries to incorporate elements of all the disciplines.
Darren describes two of his works as found-object
"Fire Hazard is made from a smashed television
reconstructed into a red-light lamp that I actually use in my
darkroom," he said. "The other sculpture is outdated
computer components tack-welded together with items I picked up
at Wacky Willy's."
Finding people to be the most interesting and psychologically
challenging of subjects, Darren has also done some figure-related
Darren is planning his first Portland show at the Lowbrow Lounge
in the Pearl District.
"I haven't set a date yet, but they've assured
me I could show there," he said. "I'm constantly looking
for interesting places to show and opportunities to gain professional
work experience as an artist."
His previous shows were at the University of Iowa
one in metal smithing, another in printmaking and two in
Making ends meet
Though he finds being an artist who is striving to reach a professional
level and build an audience frustrating and challenging, Darren
considers it well worth the effort.
"I believe I'm definitely on my way and tenaciously
pursue my future in the arts. I'm designing my own Web site and
always looking for ways to get involved with Northwest groups
like the RACC (Regional Arts and Culture Center). I'm a strong
supporter of music, dance and all aspects of creativity.
"But since I'm also looking for work
spending time on résumés, interviews, etc.
it's hard to stay focused on the progress of my art. I don't like
interrupting my artwork to search for my next paycheck. But that's
life right now."