Aaron Garber - Maikovska

American, b. 1978

Grove, 2013, ink on fluted polyboard mounted on an aluminum frame, 70 x 40 1/2 inches


Los Angeles-based Aaron Garber-Maikovska is a multimedia artist whose body of work encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture and video. His style is marked by frenzied, expressive lines and color. Possibly taking the shape of a letter, a sign, a portrait, a cartoon strip or even calligraphy, these paintings appear illegible, almost cryptic – with lines and color fading in and out of sync. The viewer may attempt to look into meaning in Garber-Maikovska’s work, but the aim of the artist is to convey new modes of communication through the gesture. 

Visually, the paintings have bravado and a frivolous sense of movement and rhythm. From the earlier examples, with bold black lines, to the later works, with a chaotic use of paint and pastel, Garber-Maikovska has an idiosyncratic approach that really does stand out. 

Garber-Maikovska's movements are both mechanical and meaningful. As inane as these paintings might appear, any attempts at gestural abstraction inevitably invites an investigation of meaning and possibly also an exhaustion of such. Garber-Maikovska applies pastel on top colors of the ink in his paintings. Even in the cases where he is using the ink lines to trace his colors the consequence is a dissonant layering, a certain stumble, stutter or desynchronization. The pastel is rubbed out and another layer of ink and pastel goes on top; further adding in terms of rhythm and repetition, and once again fading in and out of sync. This switching brings to mind the modulation and movement of his performance-based video works and earlier text-based works. Possibly taking the shape of a letter, a sign, a portrait, a cartoon strip, or as calligraphy, these paintings end up resembling the form and function of hieroglyphs where a stylized picture of an object could equally represent a word, syllable, or sound.

Garber-Maikovska was born in Washington. His work has been shown in galleries around the world including: Green Gallery, Milwakee; Kavi Gupta, Berlin; Standard (Oslo), Oslo.