Aaron Sheppard was born in 1976, York, Nebraska
He lives and works in Joshua Tree, California
Areas of Specialization Painting, Performance, Sculpture, Drawing, Video, Installation
Aaron Sheppard speaks eloquently about constructing and projecting identity, religiosity, sexuality, and a counter-factual historicism. His filter is the culture's love of fame and/or pornography, mixed with the romance and perversion of classical allegorical portraiture. His lavish materiality finds a narrative function for neon light tubes, thick heavy paint, and extreme mannerism in his mostly nude figures, forcing people to deal withthe inconvenient object and not just the idea of it.Art history is used as a case study for cognitively accepting the chaotic simultaneity of paradoxical life experiences, expressive of the messy exuberance of memoryand desire. As observed by his spirit-guide, the incendiary philosopher Georges Bataille, "The need to go astray, to be destroyed, is an extremely private, distant, passionate, turbulent truth." And Aaron sincerely recommends going astray. 


I think of the artist Aaron Sheppard as the person who is willing to jump off the rocks into the water first, the height does not scare him, nor the sensation of cold ocean water, or whatever lurks beneath the choppy waves…or maybe it does, but he is still determined to make the dive, to be in the moment of discovery, of danger, of sensation. Courage and joy, danger and beauty, these elements all play into a life fully experienced. Immersive and intense, Aaron’s work embraces this way of living…

The artist combines the delectably ribald with a sense the painterly modernism in a wide-ranging body of work that includes assemblages, installations, performances, and mixed media works.

Fragmenting static ideas of sexuality and gender identity, he uses his own body and image as subject repeatedly. Aaron layers this syntax with motifs from diverse sources including 20th century art, erotica, literature, mythology, popular culture, folktales and religion. The oeuvre may be seen as delightfully exhibitionist because it is constantly seems engaged in the sexy theatrics of display. However, there is also a sense of extreme vulnerability and it is this profound fragility that makes Aaron’s work powerful. 

Education 
2006-09  MFA, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
1995-99  BFA with Hon., Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC 

Selected Exhibitions 
2018
CACTUS FETISH, La Matadora Gallery, Joshua Tree, CA
PLURAL, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, Las Vegas, NV
MR. SLAPPY at INSERTION - 12 INCHES OF SIN VII, Sin City Gallery, Las Vegas, NV (performance with Dirty Mirkin)
ART IS A LIE, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
2017 
HONEY IN THE HOLE, 12" of Sin Vol. VI, Las Vegas, NV 
XXYXO, La Matadora Gallery, Joshua Tree, CA 
MERMAIDS AND MATADORAS, La Matadora Gallery, Joshua Tree, CA 
SENSITIVE WHITE BOY SYNDROME, Sin City Gallery, Las Vegas, NV 
ATMOS@ALTES, Berlin, Germany and PVAC, USA 
MIRRORED STRANGER, ACE Hotel, Palm Springs, CA 
THE JOSHUA TREENIAL, Joshua Tree, CA 
N&N, Hinterzimmer, Karlsruhe, Germany 
2016 
TIMELINE OF TASTEE, Cowgirl, New York, NY 
TALES OF THE FLESH 2, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA 
PERFORMANCENIGHT, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe, Germany 
SKULL, Sahara West Library, Las Vegas, NV
FÜR & BÜR-GRR, Sin City Gallery, Las Vegas, NV 
2015 
THANKS FOR LETTING ME SIT ON YOU, Salon De Luncheonette, Brooklyn, NY 
LIKE, OUT OF WATER (pt2), Joshua Treenial, Joshua Tree, CA 
LIKE, OUT OF WATER (pt1), Tropicana, Las Vegas, NV 
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FESTIVAL, Las Vegas, NV 
SKULL, Donna Beam Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
2014 
untitled at LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FESTIVAL, Las Vegas, NV
PINK BOX, 6th Annual Perform Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA
SKULL, Donna Beam Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
2013
MOIST GILDING, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA 
SEEING VOICES, Donna Beam Gallery, UNLV 
THE ODYSSEY at LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FESTIVAL, Las Vegas, NV
2012
FIVE NEW PAINTINGS, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA
BACON, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA
DR. COLD WAR(M) at THE GLOBAL CLIMACTERIC, Jaus, Santa Monica, CA 
2011 
TISCH IM RAUM, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria 
LOCALS ONLY: AARON SHEPPARD, CENTERpiece Gallery, Las Vegas, NV 
CONCEPTUALIZING THE BODY, Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, SUNY College, Old Westbury, NY 
SKULL, Blackbird Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
KALEIDOSCOPE, Springs Preserve Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
2010 
YONIC INVERSION, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA 
2009 
THE FIRST SIX YEARS, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA 
TALES OF THE FLESH, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA 
AARON SHEPPARD, Fringe Festival, Adelaide, Australia 
DRUNK, Alios, Las Vegas, NV 
SOME FUTURE SOMETIME, Reed Wipple Gallery, Las Vegas, NV 
LIPSTICKAFORKINME, Donna Beam Gallery, UNLV 
2008
MAID IN CHINA(TOWN), Chinese Biennale, Ku Art Center, Beijing, China
ON BEING GOOD, Reed Wipple Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAKING A LIVING AND MAKING A KILLING, MCQ Fine Art, Las Vegas, NV
MIDWAY, Contemporary Art Center, Las Vegas, NV
MIDWAY, Grant Hall Gallery, UNLV 
2007
AOTM BOMBSHELL at YOKOHAMA BOOGIE: UNDER THE INFLUEND, ZAIM, Yokohama, Japan
TOPOLOGO, Double-D Gallery, New York, NY
3DIMENTIA, Contemporary Art Center, Las Vegas, NV 
2006
LOST IN SPEGAS, DUMBO Arts Festival, DUMBO Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY
ROOM #11515, Stardust Casino, Las Vegas, NV
NUNSLAUGHTER, JMX Productions, Los Angeles, CA
GRAND OPENING, A6 Gallery, Henderson, NV
ARTPULSE LAUNCH, New York, NY 
2005
EX-CORPSE, XC Projects, Scope Miami International Art Fair, Miami, FL
DESIGN THIS!, Volume 1E Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
MADE IN AMERICA, Pickled Art Center, Beijing, China 
2004
ABRACADAVER, Here Art Center, New York, NY 
US vs. THEM, Peekskill Project, Vara Art and Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
HEART OF RED FISH MAN, Multiplicity, Ilnacullin, Garnish Island, Ireland
ANATOMICALLY CORRECT, Broadway Gallery, New York, NY
PEOPLE I'VE KNOWN AND THOSE I'VE NEVER MET, Volume 1E Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 
2003
SNATCH N' STIFF FESTIVAL, CBGB & OMFUG (Main Stage and 313 Gallery), New York, NY 
2002
THIS IS BLINDSNATCH, Fake!, Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
OXYGEN, White Box Gallery, New York, NY
MAXXXED OUT, Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
T&A, GV/AS Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2001
PLAY - : - -, The Scene Gallery, New York, NY
ART HEALS, The Eyebeam Atelier, New York, NY
THE SHOW, Clemente Soto Cultural Center, New York, NY 
2000
NEW SAMBA, 291 Gallery, London, England
IMAGING THE WUNDERBOARD, London Biennale, Center for Freudian Research and Analysis, London, England
VIVA LOST ELVIS, Monk Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
SINDROHM, CBGB & OMFUG, New York, NY 
1999
POWDER DUST, Power Studios Gallery, Miami, FL
PESCADITO SALSAFRITO, Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC 
1998
UNTITLED, Center for Collaborative Art and Visual Education, Washington, DC
POPSTARS, Club Alcatraz, Washington, DC
UNTITLED, Bound Gallery, Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD
FATHERS AND SONS, Burkholder Project, Lincoln, NE 
1997
BILLBOARDS OF PANGEA, Squirrel-Bate Quasi-International, Washington, DC 
1995
AARON SHEPPARD, Surya Gallery, Lincoln, NE 
UNTITLED, Miscellanea, Lincoln, NE
UNTITLED, The Coffee House, Lincoln, NE 
1994
UNTITLED, The Business of Art Center, Manitou Springs, CO
UNTITLED, The Art of Craft Gallery, Denver, CO
UNTITLED, The Gallery, Overland Park, KS

Projects
Gallery Representation-
Western Project
Los Angeles, CA  2009 – 2017

Public Art Installation-
Atomic Industries:
Designer, Contractor and Member of company formulated for the redevelopment of South
Casino Center at East Charleston Boulevard with The Las Vegas Arts Commission. Colleagues/
other A.I. members included Erin Stellmon, Danielle Kelly and Adam Morey.
Las Vegas, NV  2006 – 2009, 2017

The 705 Erogenous Zone:
Painting of murals on entire warehouse building at 705 N. Las Vegas Boulevard in the Cultural 
Corridor of downtown Las Vegas. Curated by Laura Henkel of Sin City Gallery.
Las Vegas, NV  2017

Performance-
Nameless&Neutral: 
with Johanna Wagner (Germany) and Karolina Sulich (Poland)
Various events, 2015 – Present

Bearded & Shucked:
Annual Mermaid Parade in Joshua Tree, CA
with co-creator, Erin Stellmon
June 2016, 2017, 2018

Barbie Q. (drag personae):
Blu Lounge, Brooklyn NY
Hosting of drag performances and karaoke two nights weekly, 2002 – 2005
Various events, 1999 - 2006
Instigate and promote music, drag and performance art shows at various venues in
New York: Union Pool, The Abby, The Roxy, CBGB's, Club Rififi, Manatoba's, Luxx,
Trash Bar, Lips, The Cock, The Hole, Niagara, Jackie 60, Rock Star Bar, Don Hill's, Hog Pit…

Peter & The Pansexuals (pansexuals.com):
Various events and venues, 2003 – 2008
Lead singer/performer and events coordinator for Brooklyn-based punk/metal band.

Lustre Flux (regular event):
Thunderbird Lounge at Aruba Hotel, Las Vegas NV
Various dates, 2006 – 2009
As Sissy Hamstack (drag personae) along with Justin Favela, Lake Newton, David Sanchez
Burr and Diana Mateer (involving many others) we conceived, orchestrated, scripted and
performed Lustre Flux, a live variety show involving many local Vegas talent, equipment setup
and props installation.

Becket Schmecket:
Spring Theatre Works, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY
Triad Theatre, New York, NY
Various dates, 2003 – 2004
As designer of hair and makeup and promotions as well as being an onstage participant. Written by Lannie Hill, starring Ben Roberts and Paul Bernstein.

Stage Production-
The Wooster Group, New York, NY:
June 1999 – September 1999
Set Builder/Welder

Kimball Recital Hall at University of Nebraska, Lincoln:
June 1993 – May 1995
Stage Manager

Lied Center for Performing Arts at University of Nebraska, Lincoln:
May 1993 – May 1995
Usher

Mary Riepma Ross Film Theatre at University of Nebraska, Lincoln:
May 1993 – May 1995
Usher

Select OnStage, Screen & Radio-
Innovative Artists, New York, NY:
2000 – 2006 
Model/Actor
The Sopranos (HBO), Table One (Directed by Michael Bergmen), Dinner Rush (Directed by 
Bob Giraldi)

Ingrid French Management, New York, NY:
1999 – 2006 
Model/Actor
MTV Rock Honors 2006, Audi Q7 launch commercial, Where Within Art Lies (Directed by Ian 
Chambers), Jimmy Maker (Directed by Ryan Cooke), Through the Window (Directed by Louise 
Hernon)

Wilhelmina Models, New York, NY:
1998 – 2000
Print and Runway Model

KZUM 89.3FM, Lincoln, NE:
May 1992 – May 1995 
Disc-Jockey and creator of Dreaded Rockers with Kevin O’Connor (reggae, ska and African beats)

Bibliography
2018
Jennifer Henry, “Everything is Erotic at 12 Inches of Sin,” DTLV (May 18) 
Kristen Peterson, “Freedom and fluidity: the art of Aaron Sheppard” Nevada Public Radio (April 25) 
2017
Kristen Peterson, “12 Inches of Sin festival brings the sexy art back” Nevada Public Radio (July 20) 
Jessie O’Brien, “An Erogenous Zone in the Cultural Corridor,” DTLV (June 2)
Rosa JH Berland, “Bend Your Mind with Aaron Sheppard,” Beautiful Things Art Blog (June)
2016
Jan Hogan, “Artists tackle mortality in ‘Skull’ exhibit at Sahara West Library in Las Vegas,” Las Vegas Review-Journal (November 10) 
Laura Henkel, "PtD Guest Ed: Artists Guide Mermaids Through the Desert," Paint This Desert (July 14) 
Leslie Shaw, "Joshua Tree celebrates LGBT milestone," Hi-Desert Star (June 29)
Kristen Peterson, “Mermaids in the Desert Give Love to Coney Island,” Las Vegas Weekly (June 22)
Wendy Kveck, "Mermaid Parade in Joshua Tree," Settlers + Nomads (June)
2015
Doug Meyer, “For the Love of Plywood: a Studied Metamorphosis,” Modern Magazine, (Spring)
2014
Kirsten Swenson, “Life is Art Inside the Wester Hotel at LIB,” Las Vegas Weekly (October 29)
2013
Shana Nys Dambrot, “Aaron Sheppard: ‘Moist Gilding’ at Western Project,” art ltd., Nov/Dec
2012
Shana Nys Dambrot, “Alter-Egos and Neon Aphrodites; Painter Aaron Sheppard Lights Up Los Angeles,” LA Canvas, Vol. 2 No. 4 (May)
2011
Ezrha Jean Black, “Reviews: Aaron Sheppard: Yonic Inversion,”Artillery Magazine (Jan/Feb Vol. 5 Issue 3) 
Kristen Peterson, “Art 101: A Tour Through Las Vegas’ Art Scene,” Las Vegas Weekly (February 3)
Andreas Hale, “Art From the Gut: Artist Aaron Sheppard forces viewers out of their ‘maleboxes’,”Vegas Seven (March 17)
Kristen Peterson, “Suck on this,” Las Vegas Weekly (March 24)
Kristen Peterson, “Emergency Arts Presents the Art of Opportunity Village,” Las Vegas Weekly (May 18)
Samuel Jablon, "ART: Aaron Sheppard," Bomb Magazine BOMBLOG (September)
2010
Peter Frank, “Haiku Reviews: Robert Rauschenberg, Martin Mull, Babes In Arms & More / San 
Francisco, LA, New York,” The Huffington Post (December 17)
Doug Simay, “Current Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions: Doug Simay’s Best Picks,” simayspace.com (December)
Shana Nys Dambrot, “Editor’s Pick: Aaron Sheppard: Yonic Inversion,” Flavorpill (October)
Marc Dombrosky, “Interview with Aaron Sheppard,” CAC Blog Las Vegas, lasvegascac.blogspot.com (October)
Scott Dickensheets, “Ones 2 Watch: Hot artists on the rise,” Desert Companion KNPR publication (September)
Jarret Keene, “The Art of Closing,” Vegas Seven (June 23)
Las Vegas Weekly Staff, “Who Are Some Artists I Should Know,” Las Vegas Weekly (March)
2009
Kirsten Swenson, “It’s All About Community,” Desert Companion KNPR publication (Fall)
Phil Hagen and Erica Pope, “Art Optimism,” Desert Companion KNPR publication (Fall)
Kirsten Swenson, “An infusion of art: Contemporary works from Los Angeles gracing UNLV’s 
Donna Beam space,” Las Vegas Sun (September 11)
Amy Kingsley, “Bar room scrawl,” Las Vegas City Life (November)
Kristen Peterson, “Comic book has subject with a tragic side as well,” Las Vegas Sun (July)
John Przybys, “Artists explore what future could hold through various mediums in new exhibit,” Las Vegas Review-Journal (June)
Kristen Peterson, “Struck Over the Head by Something Heavenly That Fell To Earth,” Las Vegas Sun (May)
Kristen Peterson, “Art’s less a thing apart,” Las Vegas Sun (April)
2008
Jarret Keene, “Freak Scene,” Las Vegas City Life (May)
Danielle Kelly, “The Party’s Over,” Las Vegas Weekly (May)
2006
Erica Pope, “Creative differences,” Las Vegas City Life (November)
2005
Ask A New Yorker, “Aaron,” askanewyorker.com (December)
2002
Cindy Price, “Gay Williamsburg,” freewilliamsburg.com (May)
2001
Virginia Vitzthum, “A Young Man Turns Himself into a Beautiful Woman,” salon.com (January)

Lectures
2015
Visiting Artist for "What's in a Tattoo?" Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE
2013
MFA Visiting Artist Program, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
2011
tisch im raum/the cake in the room, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria
Locals Only: Aaron Sheppard, CENTERpiece Gallery, CityCenter, Las Vegas, NV
Southern Nevada Scholastic Awards Ceremony, Springs Preserve, Las Vegas, NV
2009
Southern Nevada Scholastic Awards Ceremony, presented by Elizabeth Heridge,
Springs Preserve, Las Vegas, NV
2008
Midway, Contemporary Arts Center, Las Vegas, NV
Maid in China(town) at Samuel Beckett Festival, Arts Factory, Las Vegas, NV
2007
AOTM Bombshell at Yokohama Boogie: Under the Influence, ZAIM, Yokohama, Japan

Public Collections
Marjorie Barrick Museum, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The 705, Las Vegas, NV
Sheldon Museum of Art, Lied Center for the Performing Arts, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Virginia Cable & Wireless Corporation, Vienna, VA

GRANTS & FELLOWSHIPS
2017
Zappos Production Grant
2014
Life Is Beautiful Grant
2011
Peter S. Reed Foundation Award
SUNY College at Old Westbury Grant
Kunsthalle Exnergasse Grant
2010
Cirque du Soleil Grant
2009
Joan Mitchell Foundation Award Nomination by University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2008
Cirque du Soleil Grant
Todd VonBastiaans Grant
Nevada Arts Council Grant via Contemporary Arts Center
Marjorie Laird Scholarship, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
2007
ZAIM, Yokohama Grant
UNLV Graduate & Professional Student Association Grant
Cirque du Soleil Grant
2006
UNLV Graduate & Professional Student Association Grant
1999
Berthold Schmutzhart Award
The Knights Templar Award
Mae W. Jurow Scholarship
1998
Yale University Summer Studies Nomination by Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC
1995
Corcoran School of Art Scholastic Scholarship
1994
Scholastic Gold and Silver Pen Awards
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