Aaron Rose believes that life is nothing more than a dictionary of symbols: “We look to symbols everywhere to help us make sense of our existence. From the mundane to the mystical symbols are totems that give order to the chaos and also help define ourselves as a tribe.“ From his very first works, symbology has always played a major role. However, rather then use symbols for their intended significance, Aaron Rose always preferred to recontextualize meanings in unexpected ways - creating abstract visuals composed of symbols invented and culled from the annals of visual history. Typography and hand-lettering has also played a big role in his work. While living in New York in his early twenties, Rose supplemented his income working as a sign painter on the Lower East Side. The artist’s current series of works takes this a step further. The abstraction of symbols has been pushed a step further to create figurative portraits. While his works have always had very specific meaning for him, and in many cases are representational of specific people and events in his life, Rose now prefers to pull back the curtain.
Rose is an artist who is well known as one of the cornerstones of the modern urban art movement. For ten years he was owner/director of the Alleged Gallery in New York. In 2006, Rose was co-curator of the museum exhibition Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art & Street Culture which toured the world through 2009. Rose was also director of the feature documentary film Beautiful Losers (Arthouse Films/Oscilloscope). In 2011 he co-curated (with Roger Gastman and Jeffrey Deitch) a large-scale exhibition titled "Art In The Streets", which opened to record crowds at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA). Rose is represented as a director by the Los Angeles production company, who also represents Mike Mills, Patrick Daughters and Sofia Coppola. His publishing imprint, Alleged Press releases hardcover books by contemporary artists including Ari Marcopoulos, Ed Templeton, Mike Mills, Barry McGee and Chris Johanson. Rose is also co-editor of ANP Quarterly, an arts and culture magazine published by skate/surf brand RVCA. Besides, he is the founder of Make Something!!, a nationwide art education program for teens which partners world-renowned creative personalities with young aspiring artists. Aaron Rose (*1969 Portland Oregon) lives and works in Los Angeles.