28 Jun 2018
Visionary Alchemist and Artist, David Aronson
Today I have with me the Visionary Alchemist and Artist, David Aronson. He uses many different mixed media types and also teaches classes to locals for all ages. I have had the honor to get to know David on a personal level and we have been friends for over ten years. He is one of the most gentle and kind persons I have ever met and I like how he sees the world with realistic goggles and doesn’t hide who he is or what he sees. Art is an expression of the emotional seat of the body.
I have often wondered why his art never took off as a full fledged career. He has worked with bands and artists, doing t-shirts and animated videos for metal artists such as Chris Barnes from 6 Feet Under and Cannibal Corpse. Drawn and Quartered asked him to create and was shown on MTV2. He’s created several album covers for indie bands.
Although his dark and meta-anthropological style in his illustrations may portray archaic influences, as a close friend and client, I know that David has another lighter side as a healer and certified hypnotherapist. Learn more. I wanted to share a series on getting to know my friend and introducing some of works and services in a 10 part series.
The first set in this collective series is a book that we all collaborated forces on. I am friends with one of the publishers, Mogg Morgan at Mandrake of Oxford, David had already established a working relationship with Tom Bradley by doing several book covers and illustrations for his books.
What is Elmer Crowley about?
Its a humorous work of fiction about Aleister Crowley. He is dying and he does this spell to reincarnate and something goes wrong and he comes back as Elmer Fudd
How did you and Tom decide on this book and title?
The book was totally Tom’s idea and I had creative freedom to do whatever I felt the pages needed.
For those that don’t know who Aleister Crowley is, please brief us on him:
Aleister Crowley is the Godfather of Modern Magick and he cultivated an image as “the beast” and the most evil man in the world. He was around during the victorian era. You could come up with thousands of opinions and references on the man. He was legendary.
My three favorite pieces were
1st image – The Cover
2nd image – Crowley in his headpiece – nice intricate detail that shows off your range and ability of talent.
3rd image – Madame Blavatsky a Russian occultist, tweety, and the sperm reincarnation scene. Salvador Dali is the 3rd sperm next to Blavatsky who Crowley was often said to admire and Crowley up at the top. Dali was alive during the lifetime of Crowley but his heyday was in the 30s-50’s instead of at the turn of the century. This was the only issue that Bradley and Aronson had on the illustrations. He wanted everyone in the same time period.
About the Book
After making careful preparations to ensure himself a proper reincarnation, the dying Aleister Crowley flubs one syllable of the magickal incantation…and comes back as Elmer Fudd. The pictures David Aronson did before getting sick are black and white. They take Crowley from his death, through his judgement in the Hall of the Divine Kings, and stop just as he is being sucked into Looney Tunes Land. At that point, Nick Patterson takes over, and the color is switched on. It’s like the old movie, when Dorothy gets out of Kansas and arrives in Oz. The different style of pictures announces the big change in scene.
– Praise for Elmer Crowley: a katabasic nekyia –
Reading Elmer Crowley is like reading Crowley’s inner dialogue at 3am, after an intensive journey into his own inner abyss. It is, therefore, a magickal working that Crowley himself would be proud of.
– Gwendolyn von Taunton, author of Northern Traditions
Of Aleister Crowley’s many fictionalizations, this novel gets best into his head. Erudite, prideful, lascivious, funniest man of his time, and the mightiest spiritual spelunker–he speaks and shouts from these pages as clearly as he did in his Autohagiography, which is paradoxical, given the irreal setting.
– Barry Katz, HTMLGIANT
This book…captures the feel of Crowley with his bawdy, politically incorrect irreverence, his arrogance and his committed magickal spirituality and awareness.
– Charlotte Rogers, author of P is for Prostitute
The voice is dead perfect…I can’t imagine a hip Thelemite NOT having this book in her library.
– Don Webb, author of Through Dark Angles, former High Priest, Temple of Set
This self-described “picaresque graphic novel” reads like an account of Crowley’s death-bed fever dream or an afterlife bardo journey gone terribly wrong, wherein the fifty-eight Wrathful Deities take on the aspect of warped and sinister versions of Looney Toons archetypes…. the result reads like a trippy, post-mortem, long-lost epilogue to The Confessions.
– Richard Kaczynski, author of Perdurbo: The Life of Aleister Crowley
ABOUT David Aronson
David Aronson lives and works in the Philadelphia area. His quirky, offbeat drawings, paintings and illustrations combine traditional media such as watercolor, ink, graphite and colored pencil with digital media and digital collage. His work ranges from whimsical to fantastic, from highly stylized to realistically rendered, and has been called unique and highly imaginative. It mixes lowbrow with fine art elements and often employs unusual juxtapositions. Thematically, David often delves into the realms of mythology and psychology.
He has created art for CD covers, music videos, magazines, books, music posters and tour t-shirts. David is also an oil painter and has completed several public and private commissions. His digital animation has been featured on MTV2 and Fuse, and his drawings and illustrations have appeared in Silkmilk, Ritual, Inside Artzine, Khooligan, Fugue and BigNews, as well as being exhibited nationally in galleries and museum shows. His work has been featured in a college level illustration textbook, and most recently in the book The Immanence of Myth.
David is an art teacher, working with both children and adults, teaching several different media. He was once the sole owner and operator of a small art school in the Philadelphia suburbs. He is also a certified hypnotherapist, professional astrologer, and published poet.
Aronson is one of the most powerful / disturbing living artists…putting an erotic spirituality, equal to that of William Blake, into a nightmare that is darker than H.R. Giger’s.
–Frank Moore, Cherotic Revolutionary Magazine
David Aronson’s work is nothing short of digital alchemy; a spiritual, energetic example of subversion that does not detract from the reverence for his chosen subject matter. To look upon his work is to see through the eyes of a man achingly familiar with a broad spectrum of emotion. It is, quite simply, Truth, filtered through a stained glass window in another world.
–Glossolalia Black, Odd Culture
If you were ever a fan of Omni magazine or Salvador Dali you will be thrilled by David Aronson’s work. He conjures up horrific psychological landscapes in his surrealist cauldron; personal exorcisms writhing with erotic fantasies. His work also possess a hidden warmth, an empathy, which is woven throughout his nightmares serving to make his work embraceable. Whether this is done intentionally or as a cathartic result of the art itself is a mystery. And this would be just one of many dark mysteries inspired by David’s art.
–Robin Parry, Origivation Magazine
ABOUT Tom Bradley
When Tom Bradley was a little boy he was given a gazetteer for Christmas. As little boys will, he looked up all the places in the world that start with the F-word. There were two, Fukien in China and Fukuoka in Japan. Little did he suspect that he would one day be exiled to both.
Tom is a former lounge harpist. During his pre-exilic period, he played his own transcriptions of Bach and Debussy in a Salt Lake City synagogue that had been transformed into a pricey watering hole by a nephew of the Shah of Iran.
He taught anglophone literature to Chinese graduate students in the years leading up to the Tiananmen Square massacre. He was politely invited to leave China after burning a batch of student essays about the democracy movement rather than surrendering them to “the leaders.”
Tom wound up teaching conversational skills to freshman dentistry majors in the Japanese “imperial university” where they used to vivisect our bomber pilots and serve their livers raw at festive banquets. But his writing somehow sustains him.
Tom’s latest books are Family Romance, a novel illustrated by Nick Patterson (Jaded Ibis Press), A Pleasure Jaunt With One of the Sex Workers Who Don’t Exist in the People’s Republic of China (Neopoiesis Press), Bomb Baby(Enigmatic Ink), Vital Fluid (Crossing Chaos), Even the Dog Won’t Touch Me(Ahadada Press), Hemorrhaging Slave of an Obese Eunuch (Dog Horn Publishing), My Hands Were Clean (Unlikely Books) and Put It Down in a Book(The Drill Press), which was named 3:AM Magazine’s Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Further curiosity can be indulged at http://tombradley.org.
Reviews and blurbs:
Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius.
— Denis Dutton, Arts & Letters Daily
I tell you that Dr. Bradley has devoted his existence to writing because he intends for every center of consciousness, everywhere, in all planes and conditions (not just terrestrial female Homo sapiens in breeding prime), to love him forever, starting as soon as possible, though he’s prepared to wait thousands of centuries after he’s dead.
— Cye Johan, Exquisite Corpse
The contemporaries of Michelangelo found it useful to employ the term “terribilita” to characterize some of the expressions of his genius, and I will quote it here to sum up the shocking impact of this work as a whole. I read it in a state of fascination, admiration, awe, anxiety, and outrage.
— R.V. Cassill, editor of The Norton Anthology of Fiction