Peek inside the private world of artist Aleta Aaron, where everything has a story brimming with life and emotion. Inspired by faraway travel and her parents, collectors Rita and Dr. Marvin Goldstein, Aaron has an organic assemblage of her own sculpture backdropped by art.
“Our house is beautified by many of my parents’ pieces and husband Howard and I have collected. Our home is our little peaceful retreat where we feel at one with nature.”
Among familiar artists such as Yaacov Agam, Philip Moulthrop and Dale Chihuly, how more special is a Comer Jennings portrait of Aleta as a young girl alongside her glamorous mother’s oil by Roman Chatov. Then there’s the adventure of how Aleta and Howard (partner in Goldberg’s Fine Foods) brought back life-sized South African statues with spears on the plane from Johannesburg. Southwestern pottery and paintings add another dimension.
In describing her own art, Aleta Aaron states, “As a sculptor, I seek to capture the spirit and beauty of the human form, relying on the simplicity of abstraction. Every sculpture reflects matters from the heart and one’s inner dialogues. My passion to create ignited even more when I became a mother, and over the years my careers as an artist and psychotherapist have evolved together.”
Enter the lush bohemian Buckhead sanctuary.
Jaffe: What are some of your collected favorites?
Aaron: My parents housed a beautiful art collection along with hundreds of art books. My childhood home was the first gallery I ever visited. I cherish having my mother’s oil portrait painted by Roman Chatov hanging next to mine by Comer Jennings. The Jennings portrait was won by my parents as a door prize. My mother chose me as the subject. I didn’t know any friend leaving Hebrew school to sit in Comer Jennings’ living room as he painted, accompanied by a pianist playing classical music. I love the meditative spirit he captured of me at that time.
A large wool rug design panel by noted Israeli architect Yaacov Agam hangs in our entrance hallway as it hung at my parents’ home. Among other treasured items are a set of Chihuly nesting vessels, a Philip Moulthrop lathed turned spalted beech bowl, an oil painting of young girl titled “Nina En Verde” by Gustavo Montoya, and numerous art books from my parents’ collection.
Jaffe: How did your mother’s talent influence you?
Aaron: I was born into a family of artists, the most influential of whom was my mother. She exemplified beauty and grace and was an extraordinary artist. She worked in many mediums and particularly loved painting flowers and sculpting in stone and clay. I so admired watching her chipping away at the stone, seeing her excitement and later discussing the emerging image. We often attended each other’s art classes and critiques.
I once asked what influenced her making a particularly primitive looking sculpture when she declared, “The stone spoke to me.” I remember feeling chills hearing that. I knew we both understood what that meant. It’s a voice we can discern if we are quietly open to hearing it. I often feel my mother with me in my studio.
Jaffe: Share your process.
Aaron: I start with at least a 25-pound bag of clay and either a drawing, picture or feeling, and just start moving the clay until I see a figurative form speak to me. Typically, it takes a couple weeks to finish what I strive for and then around a week of patience for the clay to carefully dry. Some pieces stay ceramic with finishes that consist of a mixture of wax and artist’s pigment or crayons, while I have others cast in bronze with various patina finishes.
Jaffe: How long does it take to create a sculpture? What do they sell for?
Aaron: A bronze sculpture takes three to four months before completion. I cast them at the Inferno [Art] Foundry in Union City. They utilize the “lost wax” method, which requires several steps to achieve a final cast bronze sculpture. I’ve always had an affinity for stones and wood. I choose those as bases or pedestals to complement the sculpture. They range from $1,600 to $4,500 and are exhibited at Jennifer Balcos Gallery [at] ADAC.
Jaffe: Elaborate on your backyard oasis.
Aaron: We describe the home’s style as Frank Lloyd Wright-esque. Back here, behind the wooden fence, we can relax in our heated pool and enjoy sharing moments with family and friends. Admiring nature’s beauty and listening to the birds sing are wonderful ways to greet or end each and every day.