Aaron Morse (American, b. 1974) is as influenced by the geography, history and mythology of the Southwest as he is by the language of advertising, collage, and comics. Using subjects such as American Colonial history, 19th century Romantic literature, travel and leisure propaganda, nature guides, hunting, whaling, and 20th century politics, among other phenomena, Morse’s compositions combine elements of these in colorful and complex layers. The results are akin to epic illustrations or surreal, alternate worlds where space is ambiguous and tumultuous. His large paintings and watercolors are exceptional for their technique, and recall art forms ranging from Chinese landscape painting and Japanese woodblock prints to drawings by outsider artist Henry Darger and the Beat era collages of Jess. Ecology is a major concern for the artist, whose work is based simultaneously in both reality and fantasy.
– The Santa Barbara Museum of Art