Aaron Bohrod - Biography
Aaron Bohrod (21 November 1907 – 3 April 1992) was an American artist best known for his trompe-l'oeil still-life paintings.
Bohrad was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1907, the son of an emigree Russian grocer. Bohrod studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League of New York between 1926 and 1930. While at the Art Students League, Bohrod was influenced by John Sloan and chose themes that involved his own surroundings. He returned to Chicago in 1930 where he painted views of the city and its working class. He eventually earned Guggenheim Fellowships which permitted him to travel throughout the country, painting and recording the American scene. His early work won him widespread praise as an important social realist and regional painter and printmaker and his work was marketed through Associated American Artists in New York. During World War II, Bohrod worked as an artist, first in the Pacific for the United States Army Corps of Engineers, then in Europe for Life magazine. In 1948, he accepted a position as artist in residence, succeeding John Steuart Curry, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and remained in that capacity until 1973.
In the 1950s, Bohrod developed the trompe-l'oeil style of highly decorative, detailed still life paintings which gives an illusion of real life. It was this style with which he became internationally identified.
Bohrod died of liver cancer at his home in Madison, Wisconsin on 3 April 1992, at the age of 84. His works can be found in the collections of many American museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. The Aaron Bohrod Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley was named in his honor.
Words of Everett Oehlschlaeger: "Plastic fish, rubber ducks, broken dolls, toy soldiers, souvenirs of every sort find their way into and fill the compositions of Aaron Bohrod. In doing so, the objects take on meanings far surpassing their original ones, taking on an importance never originally intended for them ... His works often take the form of visual jokes, riddles, or puns in which the artist has fun with the double meanings of commonly used words. Bohrod has a great sense of humor, but beneath it is a bite of the utmost seriousness—often a criticism of the folly and silliness of mankind, his actions and concerns, as exhibited by the faster and faster pace of an ever twisting stream—the spectacle of life." —Everett Oehlshlaeger of Everett Oehlschlaeger Galleries Inc., Chicago, Il.
(from State of Wisconsin, 1991–92 Legislature, Assembly Joint Resolution 149)