Fractured History: Visual Art Project

Aaron Paul Dworkin, Artist

My path in life as a social entrepreneur, author, artist and professor originated in music.  I am a classically trained violinist, and throughout my journey, my art has depicted as well as been influenced by and expressed through that lens. In addition, my literal existence is steeped in diversity having been adopted at two weeks of age by a white, Jewish couple who were behavioral scientists with a birth son (my older brother, now a cellular biologist) and then 30 years later being reunited with my birth parents – a Black, Jehovah’s Witness father and White, Irish Catholic mother and full birth sister (who they did raise).  My passion for inclusion and social justice has served as the impetus for my life as a social entrepreneur.  My current visual art offerings combine elements of both my music and diversity “DNA” in a variety of ways, while also capturing an evolving aesthetic of the abstract that often mirrors the disjunct nature of my familial relationships and search for unconditional love which was all too absent during key points of my life journey.  My mixed media work with physical musical instruments shares stories of birth, separation, life, friendship and love.  I work with stringed instruments, highlighting their individual parts as elements of human emotion and character, from bow hair embracing a tailpiece, violin pegs dissecting the wood beneath the chinrest and using colors to capture the significance of certain life events.  My digital explorations incorporate the theme of musical instruments and warp the process into an alternate dimension of history, with the aim of bringing to light important historical figures of color.  My personal history and, indeed our societal history is fractured and never able to be recounted in totality.  Our heroines and heroes are scattered throughout time and often not celebrated or remembered enough for the true impact of their contributions to the realities we live today.  I endeavor to have my art utilize the imagery of music to evoke their significance while combining various techniques to convey a “fractured” effect.  Coretta Scott King, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass are all visionaries whose lives, while socially significant for our society, embraced music in a very intimate way.  My current art pieces use their images tied to musical instruments, connecting the importance of the arts in our lives while inviting viewers to remember and contemplate their historical time and connection to our present.  This collection also includes pieces representing other dimensions of my life as a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary practitioner.  From Judaica, to my love of Detroit and its history to my search for unconditional love along with my passion for games of chance and the fiction of future science, Fractured History tells the story of our society and its direction as much as it does that of my own.