Aaron Garber-Maikovska’s work represents the energetic mastery of multi-media, exemplifying the work of artists of his generation. He embodies Allan Kaprow’s famous call for young artists to simply be artists, with all of life open to them. Kaprow said, “They will discover out of ordinary things the meaning of ordinariness. They will not try to make them extraordinary but will only state their real meaning. But out of nothing they will devise the extraordinary and then maybe nothingness as well” (A. Kaprow, “The Legacy of Jackson Pollock,” Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, Berkeley, 1993, p. 9). Garber-Maikovska’s practice, which spans across performance, sculpture and painting, encourages the viewer to consider what the ultimate purpose of such meaning is.
Untitled (Triptych) is an example of Garber-Maikovska’s approach of collapsing painting and sculpture. Swatches of photographs are printed like windows into different dimensions onto the surface. An anime character, complete with a pocket watch, interposes himself between the images as though he were the White Rabbit in Wonderland. His upside-down position indicates his identity as an unreliable guide into an unknowable world. Black and grey streaks that spread like irrational, violent calligraphy across the surface suggest further enigmatic intervention into the space, which is filled with what seems at once familiar and strange; a retail clothing store, a brick wall, and the sky.
Garber-Maikovska’s practice may be born from Kaprow’s reasoning, but his direction has already overtaken what Kaprow envisioned. Art critic Jan Tumlir stated, “No particular urge to make oneself understood or, conversely, to thwart understanding drives this work- rather, the point is to suspend any such readings on our part in favor of accessing language in a state of emergence,” adding that “…we witness the return of language to the body as gesture, but now via a static series of signs…” (J. Tumlir, “Aaron Garber-Maikovska: Greene Exhibitions,” Artforum, December 2012, p. 285).