Ascetic hedonist, lowbrow intellectual and saturnine victim of Peter Pan syndrome, David Aronson observes the nightmare of history from his oneiric bathysphere and brews up potent, chthonic images in his alembics and retorts. Once thought to have been born fully grown from his father's left temple, It is now known that he spent his early years in a traveling minstrel show and petting zoo. His mother was a tap dancer and professional mourner, and his father a black-face clown and noted kabbalist. As a child, Popeye cartoons revealed to David the secrets of the Tao. David is a militant agnostic, a disgruntled, cynical tree-hugger, and an unrepentant, closet subversive, forever peeing in the cultural soup.

David Aronson lives and works in the Philadelphia area. His quirky, offbeat illustration, drawings and paintings 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 creative and 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 book covers, magazines, CD covers, music posters and tour t-shirts. David is also a 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, and the anthology Dark Stories by Dark Artists, as well as being exhibited nationally in galleries and museum shows. He is an art teacher, working with both children and adults and teaching several different media, and was once the sole owner and operator of a small art school in the Philadelphia suburbs. He is also a certified hypnotherapist, holistic healer, professional astrologer, and published poet.

What some people have said about David's art:

Each one of your pictures contains a hundred different stories. Your art's an uncanny marriage of the irrational and rational, of chaos and the most exacting, exquisite order.
Tom Bradley, author

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

I'm always on the look out for works that play with symbols in interesting ways. Or, to be more precise, I'm looking for those artists who have managed to tap into 'the ancient image language' which underlies our myth, dreams, and art. I could see this in your work. You have the poet's touch for arranging images in such a way that they resonate deeply with one another. The area of your site that interested me the most (we all have our preferences...) was your digital rendering of the Tarot Arcana. This was GOOD. As a matter of fact, it was great, grand, deep and mind-sweeping.
Laurence Caruana
The Visionary Review

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
Club Nostradamus
Origivation Magazine

Your artwork is... beautiful dizzying terrifying breathtaking intense overwhelming healing flawless and addictive. If sex with the devil could be made into chocolates filled with honey-infused whiskey... thats how your images taste to my eyes.
Lead vocals, guitar
Mother Goddess, NYC

The Alchemical Wedding flies in the face of the notion that American Tarot Art is boring. Here is a series of major arcana interpretations by David Aronson that hangs together, takes risks, and shows a profound appreciation for what it's all about.
The Voice of Thoth

I believe your art to be mind-blowing, in the very noble tradition of beautiful things that expand the mind (from Durer to friendly fungi). The tarot deck has the creepy elegance of Witkin and an amusing darkness all your own.
Laurent Liscia

I have studied the Holocaust extensively. I feel your art is without question the most accurate and vivid depiction of the hell of the holocaust. As memory fades and survivors die, your paintings, for those that view them, will ensure that at least some people remember the truth of the hell of hells. I have studied the Holocaust for more than 13 years and your paintings both disturbed me and gave me pause. True exellence.
Robert Rosenberg

The dark moon series is very interesting, darkly humourous and disturbingly beautiful.
Nicole Steen
The Pop Tarts

I found your images at and was moved to tears. Your work starkly portrays the fear, pain, loss and grief the Shoah has caused for so many people and I thank you for the opportunity to contemplate and experience at least some small part of the Holocaust. Thank you for displaying your work at, and for finding the creativity and courage to respectfully and powerfully broach such a difficult and important subject.
Maggie Shapiro

Your pen and ink drawings, if not done by you, could only have been produced if Albrecht Durer had been influenced by Robert Crumb and then dropped acid. Hieronymus Bosch and Otto Dix had a child and it is you, sir!
Fred Leary, painter

The Art of David Aronson is twisted and beautiful. He is extremely talented with many different types of media. You might find his message to be disturbing, but you cannot deny his talent.
Joey Espinosa, illustrator

...David Aronson uses the tarot form to explore images that are both disturbing and at the same time so beautifully crafted that they engage us and perhaps this is the nature of the alchemical wedding which he is inviting us to join. This has been created using computer graphic collage of astounding quality. Aronson is certainly a master of this medium...
Adam McLean, author/publisher

...we are very much interested in your bold colors, characters in tension, riskiness, playfulness...your work seems to be very smart, sophisticated, and uses color in a bold way.
Sara Kaplan, editor
Fugue Literary Magazine

Your work is at once difficult, beautiful, and intensely affecting.
Thank you for giving voice to the unspeakable and indescribable.
David Gilleece, photographer

David Aronson's graphics are a pure joy. Reminiscent of the incisive and iconoclastic cartoons of a great alternative publishing era.
Linda Rowntree
Global Tapestry Journal

Your work is staggering in its bravery, technique and themes. I've been amused, enriched and engaged viewing your site.
Glen Hansen

Your vision is awesome, amusing, disturbing, touching, and inspiring.
Just what I needed to see.
Alden Cole

I've been exploring your work online and am absolutely floored by your talent, by its breadth and depth. Your artwork is not only masterful in the skill department, but uncompromising in its truth-telling... so evocative, potent, moving... seems like there's absolutely nowhere you're not willing to go.
Rosy Aronson, Ph.D. (no relation)

...As for Aronson's style, it is rooted in the lowbrow art movement, which combines pop art, children's illustration, fine pretty much appropriates everything. The point, I think, is to eschew limitations, both cultural and social. As with a lot of lowbrow art, Aronson often mixes humor and horror for a rather peculiar effect that is its own kind of transgression. The fact that we don't always know how to feel about these pieces is, I think, precisely the point.

Pip Starr

David Aronson is an artistic psychonaut, an explorer of the personal and collective underworld; a shamanistic naturalist, recording the flora and fauna of the places in the heart and mind where the sun refuses to shine. His disturbing, atavistic images give a voice to the shadow; to mute suffering and twisted emotions long-denied.
Or, if all this is too artsy-fartsy for you, he just likes to draw weird, creepy shit.

Artist's Statement:

My art is about what I think and feel and it's brutally honest. It's honest because I want you to know who I really am. It's about the stuff that's swimming around in my subconscious. It's about the stuff that scared me and made me angry when I was a kid; stuff that I couldn't talk about then. It's symbolic because symbols are powerful and interesting and people can see a lot more of themselves in a symbol than in something that's literally spelled out. It's fun and interesting when people can find their own meanings in my art based on who they are as individuals. Sometimes I don't really know what my art's about--at least not consciously. It's dark and disturbing because there are things that need to be talked about and not swept under the rug. It's humorous and whimsical, because life is so strange and outrageous that you need to have a sense of humor to survive sometimes. It's about using your imagination. The artist sees beyond his everyday world and the limitations he's been taught and he invites you to join him.

I teach after-school art classes for children here in Philadelphia. While observing some young boys drawing superheroes and monsters, I commented to one of my assistants that these were the same kinds of things I used to draw as a child. Then I realized that, in essence, that's still what I draw. The superheroes have become archetypal figures within the collective unconscious and the monsters now come from the Jungian "shadow.''

If I had to describe my artistic intentions, I would have to say that they were "discovered'' after the fact rather than having been a conscious starting point. The first would be to allow the subconscious mind, the deeper hidden portions of the psyche, to express themselves, much in the manner of the original surrealists. These images can range from whimsical to absurd to perverse to terrifying. I do not censor them and I rarely know what they mean consciously. The second intention would be healing. Psychic wholeness is achieved by allowing the "dark'' elements of my psyche to move into the conscious light of day. By depicting these disowned aspects of self, I accept them and integrate them, thus bringing about wholeness and releasing trapped energy and power. These images are often quite powerful because they speak in the symbolic language of the deep psyche-the language of dream and myth.

Stylistically I have many influences, from the afore-mentioned surrealists to the Flemish Renaissance painters, Albrecht Durer, and Medeival illuminated manuscripts to the underground comix of the 60s and 70s, along with many many others.

Besides being an artist and an art teacher (I owned and single-handedly operated a small art school for over two years), I am also a healer, working with several modalities of hands-on energy healing along with hypnotherapy and past-life regression.

For information about commissions and illustration work you can email me at

My other sites: Holistic healing, hypnotherapy, astrology and tarot.

Click here to read an interview with me from the webzine Feed Me Cool Shit.

Click here to read an interview with me from the Russian magazine Khooligan.

Click here to read an interview with me by Claudio Parentella for the Italian webzine Komix Fumetti @ 360.

Click here for a dialogue with visonary artist Laurence Caruana on art, magick and mysticism.

Click here to read an interview with me from the webzine Ichromatography.

Click here to read an interview with me by Glossolalia Black for the webzine Oddculture.

Click here to read another interview with me by Claudio Parentela for The eXTra finGer.

Click Here to read an interview with me by James Curcio for the webzine Alterati

Click here to read an article on my work translated from the Italian magazine Ritual;

click here to see the original article in Italian with illustrations

Click here to read a review of Shadows in Heaven from Australian magazine Synergy.

Click here to read an interview with me about art education from the Phila. Arts in Education Partnership.

Click here to read an interview with me on sex and art from the people at Passional, a sex toy shop and erotic art gallery in Philly where I had a show.

Click here to read an interview with me by David Herrl for the arts web-zine Subtle Tea

Click here to see my very first monograph-created by 11th grade student Ashley Owens

For those of you into astrology, click here to see my birth chart.

Check me out on Facebook and DeviantArt

Artist's Statement

Art has chosen me.
I have not chosen it.
It has chosen me
in order to make the invisible visible
To make the intangible tangible.
The role an artist plays
emerges from the human experience
as naturally as plants emerge
from the earth,
independent of any notions of
It's value can not and need not
be grasped by the intellect.
I have not chosen art.
It has chosen me.

David W. Aronson
July, 2000

 "The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead--a snuffed-out candle."

­Albert Einstein



Photos by Bernadette Dye

I had this disclaimer on my front page in 2005 when I was experiencing a wave of right-wing attempts at internet censorship:

The images on this website are SYMBOLIC! They are not meant to be taken literally! If you do not fully understand the meaning of the word symbolic, I suggest you look it up in a dictionary. If you see a violent image, it is expressive of my own personal pain or the violence I see in the world around me. It is not an advocation of violence. When Goya created his masterpiece Disasters Of War, he was not advocating senseless slaughter. He was speaking out against it, or, at the very least, simply holding up a mirror to society. If you see a disturbing sexual image, it is symbolic of my personal, psycho-sexual experience, or of the distorted sexual expression I see in our culture. It is not an advocation of deviant sexual practices. Similarly, if you see an image of a naked human body, male, female, young, old, it is simply that, a nude body, not an intended source of sexual stimulation, and certainly not indicative of my own sexual preference or identity. If you see an image that is unsettlingly strange or bizarre, it is an invitation to step outside the box of cultural convention and herd mentality, not the product of a disordered mind. If you are scared by anything truly imaginative, then I suggest you go look at some paintings of covered bridges or bowls of fruit. I am a healer, and my ultimate goal and primary intention with my art is to tell the truth; my own personal truth and the truth of what I see, no matter how painful or unpleasant, in order to bring about healing. Also to give free play to the powers of the imagination and invite others to do the same. If you feel that you may be upset or offended by anything that I have mentioned, then please DO NOT ENTER! Only the truly open-minded are allowed inside. Thank you.
David Aronson

Some more thoughts (not mine) about art that I appreciate and agree with:

Oscar Wilde wrote that art that is "too intelligible" fails. No matter how skillful, no matter how impressive the technique or great the virtuosity or precise the image, art that is fully intelligible will always be a closed box. Art that opens that box prods the viewer out of our universe of logic and experience, telling us "Your reflexive responses will do you no good here; get to work." The incongruous juxtaposition of previously incompatible worlds is at the heart of creative originality and is probably a better investment of your time than the most detailed photo-realistic painting.

It is difficult to place a value on art because art has no inherent value aside from the value created by its context. A few years before selling the rights to Superman, the creators themselves placed little value on it; artist Joe Shuster burned pages of superman artwork because he couldn't find a single publisher willing to touch it. Then, a few years after buying the rights to Superman, the new owner had to sue those same publishers to keep them from infringing on the now valuable idea. What created the "value" in the art? John Chipman Gray noted, "Dirt is only matter out of place," and the same point could be made about art. What is important and valuable art in one context may be worthless as dirt in another.