About Aaron Art


One of my personal goals for 2020 is that I want to Make, View, and Buy more art. I’ve also long dreamed of owning an original piece by someone who’s work is in major museums. These two dreams collided when Jenny Holzer announced a limited edition piece to address the impeachment of Donald J Trump. While I’m not a skater, the idea of hanging a skateboard on my wall that was designed by an artist who’s work I’ve grown to love intrigued me.

New Years eve art. A 2020 goal: Make, View, Buy: Art

I knew this was limited addition, and was boarding an airplane when I saw it. I couldn’t wait, so as I sat waiting to taxi away from the gate, I pulled the trigger on my first piece of art by an artist who’s work is a part of the collection of MoMA, The Whitney, The Met, and many other places.

I have been a big fan of Jenny Holzer’s since first noticing a piece of her’s in MoMA’s “Gifts from Agnus Gund” show. Since then, I’m always excited to see bronze plaques on museum walls as I can only hope to find a truism or living text on it.

As soon as it arrived, I started thinking of where I should hang it. I decided to put it next to my door which is across from my bed. It sits above a piece of my own work. Now I can be reminded of it whenever I go to bed and whenever I leave my apartment.

When I originally set my goal for 2020, I assumed that it was going to be focusing mostly on local emerging artists. There is still a lot of opportunity for that (it’s only February). The fact that I now have an established artist in my collection is a pleasant surprise. Let’s see what other opportunities 2020 brings for art!


Museums I visited in 2019

I went to 19 different art museums in 2019. No idea what my previous record was, but this destroys it.Already starting to look at exhibits and museums for next year, let’s see if I can get 20 in 2020!

New York


The Basquit exhibit was my favorite small exhibit of 2019. For as few works of art as it was, the power was incredible.

The Death of Michael Stewart, also known as Defacement, by Jean-Michel Basquiat


Warhol, and Protests, and Color of the 60’s! The Whitney had a lot going on. Rachel Harrison’s mid career retrospective was a lot of fun to see, I also really love the rehang of the permanent collection on the 7th floor.

Alexander The Great by Rachel Harrison


Gina Beavers is someone who I haven’t been able to shut up about since seeing her works. Nancy Spero inspired me alot. Was especially powerful seeing her work in contrast to her husband Leon Golub’s work at Met Breuer in 2018.

Nancy Spero
Gina Beavers’ Van Gogh’s Starry Night rendered in bacon


Back in the New York Groove. Bigger and more badass. It was odd going 4 months between visits, but for the increase in space, It was absolutely worth it.


Play it Loud was a fun exhibit. One thing that the Met always reminds me is that Art is much more than Pictures and Sculptures, which is ironic since it also has an incredible collection of both pictures and sculptures.

Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness by Leonardo da Vinci

Met Brauer

This museum is not for long, as the space is scheduled to become the temporary home of the Frick Collection, but I like that they are doing a long term show entitled “Home is a Foreign Concept”. What has really made this place special in 2019 for me was the individual artist shows which allowed me to see in depth work by a number of artists.

Freedom of Speech by Faith Ringgold

Los Angeles


Going to an art museum and having a 3 year old show me some of her favorite works was a different experience and one that was a lot of fun since my friends I was with are incredible. I need to go back to see more of this musuem.


My team took an evening last year to do some team building wandering together around the Hammer. Getting to know my coworkers better by discussing art and learning just how many of us had studied art in some way was awesome.


The views were better than the art, but the art was also really good. I mostly prefer more modern and contemporary art, but the Bauhaus Beginnings show was great. Awesome to see some of the educational materials and lessons that the great artists used to teach with at that transformative institute.



This was like a mini version of The Met. Almost all the greats were represented, and some phenomenal examples of a lot of different types of art. I want to go back as I didn’t give myself enough time to fully appreciate all that they had.

Lake Superior Landscape by George Morrison

Walker Center + Sculpture Garden

Incredible collection of art and highly inspiring. The individual shows and the main collection (formatted around the themes of Self, Inside, Outside, Everyday, Everything) were fantastic. The Sculpture Garden is something I want to spend many more hours exploring. Especially want to look at every Jenny Holzer bench. And eat that damn cherry.


Wexner Center

I am lucky in that I got to see the Jason Moran exhibit here and then see it again when it came to the Whitney. This was a smaller museum, but I enjoyed how it had multiple areas that could be setup in what appeared to be isolating ways. I often felt alone in galleries, but in a good way.

Billy Ireland

If you are ever in Columbus, I highly encourage you to check out this political cartoon museum. It’s free! It’s also not very large but both exhibits I saw were extremely informative and entertaining.


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

This one is kind of cheating on my behalf, since I was here for a conference and other than 20 minutes at the end of lunch, I didn’t spend much time looking at the art.I really enjoyed a piece by Lee Krasner who I don’t feel is given enough credit or space in art museums.



I was in Boston for a wedding and decided to take a vacation day and visit the MFA. I was not disappointed. It was a large museum, so I’m glad I gave myself a full day. I loved how they had the Kehinde Wiley/John Singer Sargent duality. Listen to Wiley talk about Sargent.

San Francisco


Before visiting SFMoMA, I would have told you that MoMA was the premier modern art museum. Now I’m not so sure. Everything was incredible but the Leichenstein Nudes are what stood out to me. I had just started my own work on nudes (contact me for the Instagram I am posting those on if you are interested) so it was very timely.

De Young

I was a bit underwhelmed by this museum. I think in part since I had just been blown away by SFMoMA and expected a premier institute in a city like San Francisco to have more.

St Louis

St. Louis Art Museum

I was very impressed with the German art. The Contemporary collection was incredible and the Shape of Abstraction was the one exhibit I visited this year that was so good I bought the book.


Art Institute of Chicago

A fitting final museum of the year for me to visit as it is also the first art museum I ever went to. This is the second time I visited as an adult and I could spend hours with the Chagall windows. I also had a little fun using google translate.


Ars Est Verum

In May I saw an incredible show about Nancy Spero at PS1 and the thing that stood out to me was the sign she had in her studio:


art without knowledge is nothing

Art without knowledge is nothing. It’s a bold statement that is attributed to the long dead architect Jean Mignot. To me it’s about the fact that we need knowledge to truly appreciate art. We need the context of who the artist was, of what the world was. Until we can know more about art, we can only look at it as an aesthetic item. Beauty can be appreciated but it’s only skin deep. It’s knowledge or brains that add the depth. And without depth, there is nothing there. Hence, Ars Sine Scientia Nihil Est.

I have been thinking about how it could be simplified and my instagram has been littered with stories featuring a similar phrase

Ars est Verum

Art is truth

Truth is a foundation for understanding, it’s needed for knowledge. Otherwise that “knowledge” is just a random set of sentences or ideas. Knowledge without truth is nothing.

Is Art Truth? I don’t know. It’s just a theory, but there is something nice about it. What I do know is art inspires emotions and emotion is true. I know art exists, so it is truthy. But does Art === Truth? That’s a question I can’t answer and I’m not sure I ever will be able to answer it. But while I try, I’ll at least have a belief that Ars est Verum

Art Programming WordPress

Art and Commit Messages: Volume 2

Last year I published volume 1 of Art And Commit messages and sold nearly 50 copies! For my first zine, I was ecstatic that so many people were willing to spend $3 on something so unknown. I have already started thinking about Volume 2 and think that it will be a great thing to publish at WordCamp US. I’m also thinking it might make sense to include some different things this time.

Art by more Artists

Volume 1 featured my art, for Volume 2 I would like to feature the art by more artists. I am also thinking of budgeting a small amount so that artists are compensated, but as Volume 1 didn’t make any money I think this is going to be a low amount. Maybe $50 for each piece.

Are you interested in having your artwork featured in Art and Commit Messages? Let me know:

Essays by More Writers

Along the same lines, I want to feature a couple of essays about commit messages from a variety of people. What kind of essays would you like to see in volume 2?

Finally, I want to figure out some sort of game to include. Maybe I loved reading Highlights for Children too much as a kid, but I think a game would be fun.

Art and Commit Messages: Strange Bedfellows

Art and Commit Messages might feel like an odd combination but the best of both are snapshots that convey an intent. Art transposes the emotion of the creator to an audience. It can transport you into the brain of the artist. The best commit messages similarly transport you into the brain of the creator. They share the coders intent.

That’s the message from the cover of volume 1. I absolutely recognize the odd combination, but they are two things that I care about and I hope that by combining these two strange bedfellows I can encourage people to write better commit messages.

Overall, my goal remains to encourage high quality commit messages through education, entertainment, and an understanding of history. I’m not looking to make money, if I was I wouldn’t be making a zine.

Do you have other ideas for making Art and Commit Messages better? Leave a comment or get it touch and let me know!

Art Code Four Short Things

Four Short Things – 2 March 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

Clicks are an “unreliable seismograph” for a news article’s value — here’s new research to back it up

This is a summary of a report on user behavior on the web. It found a few things that aren’t super surprising:

  • Relevance is the paramount driver of news consumption. People find those stories most relevant that affect their personal lives, as they impinge on members of their family, the place where they work, their leisure activities, and their local community.
  • Relevance is tied to sociability. It often originates in the belief that family and friends might take an interest in the story. This is often coupled with shareability – a wish to share and tag a friend on social media.
  • People frequently click on stories that are amusing, trivial, or weird, with no obvious civic focus. But they maintain a clear sense of what is trivial and what matters. On the whole people want to stay informed about what goes on around them, at the local, national, and international levels.
  • News audiences make their own meanings, in ways that spring naturally from people’s life experience. The same news story can be read by different people as an ‘international’ story, a ‘technology’ story, or a ‘financial’ story; sometimes a trivial or titillating story is appreciated for its civic implications.
  • News is a cross-media phenomenon characterised by high redundancy. Living in a newssaturated culture, people often feel sufficiently informed about major ongoing news stories; just reading the headline can be enough to bring people up to date about the latest events.
  • News avoidance, especially avoidance of political news, often originates in a cynical attitude towards politicians (‘They break rules all the time and get away with it!’), coupled with a modest civic literacy and lack of knowledge about politics.

Jasper Johns: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper

Jasper Johns continues to callback to previous works while introducing new motifs and styles. The 88 year old artist shows off why he is the living artist who’s works sell for the most. This show is on view at Matthew Marks Gallary (522 West 22nd Street) until April 6.

Building a Culture of Safety

Josepha identifies the importance of creating safety when it comes to leadership and identifies what safety is, namely physical, psychological, social, and moral safety. I’ve been really enjoying her writings around leadership lately and has definitely helped me think about how I can apply the ideas to my leadership style.

Spectacle: ReactJS based presentation library

I’ve started researching presentation libraries to see what has changed in the last year. Spectacle was available last I looked, but it seems like it has come a long way and I’m thinking it might be time that I give it a try.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.

Art Code Four Short Things WordPress

Four Short Things – 23 February 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

Leukemia has won

WordPress has allowed me the opportunity to meet hundreds of people first online and then offline, but Alex “Viper007Bond” was the first. When I first started getting involved in WordPress, I spent many late nights in the IRC #wordpress channel on freenode, at first seeking help but then providing it. Viper was commonly there helping others and likely answered more than a few questions of mine as well. He’s been publicly battling leukemia for 2.5 years. His blog is a great tale of the ups and downs of cancer. Alex and those that care about him are in my thoughts right now.

Kevin Beasley: A view of a Landscape

On view at the Whitney until 10 March, this exhibit on the top floor is one encompassing sound and visuals. Featuring the motor from a cotton gin and giant sculptures with Cotton, it explores race, history and the evolution of America.

Writing CSS Algorithms

Lara has done more to change my opinions on CSS than anyone else. This post is a companion piece to a talk she gave at WordCamp US and one that everyone web developer should read.

Pento hits 1000 Commits

13 people have made over 1000 commits to WordPress core over the past nearly 16 years. Gary Pendergast joined the club during the 5.1 release. Overall, there have been 44767 commits so Gary’s count only represents 2.2% of the total activity.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.

Art Four Short Things Programming Uncategorized

Four Short Things – 16 February 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

Git for Ages 4 and Above

My friend Adam recommended this talk as a good deep dive into git. One thing I often preach is the importance of understanding the tools you use on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter what editor you use (but really, it should be vim), what matters is knowing how to use your editor. The same can be said for git. Git is much more powerful than git commit, git push, and git pull. The piece I used yesterday? git checkout master -- filename.jsto revert a single file in a branch that didn’t actually need changes.

Tom Brown at Laugh Fest

Do you live in or around Grand Rapids? If so I highly suggest checking out The Tom Brown at Laugh Fest in March. You will laugh your socks off.

Public APIs

This collection of mostly JSON REST APIs has everything from APIs around art, music, and photography to weather, news, and NFL arrests. It’s a great first stop if you are looking for a data API.

Two Elephants

I finished my first new canvas of 2019.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.

Art Design Four Short Things Programming

Four Short Things – 9 February 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

The Value of Good Design

MoMA’s spring exhibition includes a show featuring everyday objects, the types that it’s feasible to find in our homes. Brooms, Rakes, Chairs, A Slinky. With an emphasis on work that appeared in shows from the 1930’s to 1950’s, there is plenty of Eames, Saarinen, and Bruan to make any home goods nerd geek out. In addition to the main section of the show, there is a small lab where you can couch and sit on some of the items on display. It’s open until June 15.


Describing itself as “Write, Plan, and Create Infrastructure as Code”, terraform allows for almost every part of your infrastructure to happen as code. You can thus keep your DNS in GitHub. You can keep your GitHub config in GitHub too.

What’s new in PHP7.4?

Odds are, you aren’t running PHP7.3 yet, but that doesn’t mean work hasn’t started on PHP7.3. Heck, 8.0 is already being planned. It’s still early, but coalesce assignment is my prediction for what is going to cause the most useless arguments and also be the biggest win.

Inclusive Design: Who’s Opportunity is it?

My friend David uses his journey to help explain how inclusive design is a win for everyone. He looks at Inclusive design as an opportunity for business, content, quality, performance, and people. Definitely was one of the best things I read this week.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.

Art Design Four Short Things Programming

Four Short Things – 2 February 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

Design Patterns for Managing Up

The first time I was introduced to the phrase “Managing Up” I hated it. Why should I be responsible for my boss? They are supposed to be responsible for me. As I’ve grown I have recognized that as with all relationships, the manager-managee relation requires all parties to invest in its success. This article covers four challenges and offers patterns of behavior to help build and improve the relationship. These four situations are:

  1. Someone asks you something you don’t know
  2. There is a problem that is your fault or responsibility
  3. There is a decision that you don’t agree with
  4. Your manager gives you negative feedback

Metropolis II

LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United . On my first visit, Chris Burden’s kinetic sculpture stood out to me. I like art that reminds me of the building and imagination you do when you are young. Metropolis II is a massive sculpture that features cars and trains traveling around a city.

Picasso’s Drawings of Bulls Inspired Apple’s Famously Simple Designs

“Pasadena, Norton Simon Museum, Picasso P. The Bull, 1946” flickr photo by Vahe Martirosyan shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Picasso’s lithographic drawings of The Bull start as a full picture of a bull and over the course of the drawings, become more abstract and minimized to only a few lines. But it is still clearly a bull. Apple incorporated this into its design education. The continued minimization and removal of elements is evident. A phone is still a phone without a headphone jack, and a bull is still a bull when it is made with simple lines.

How We Made The Force Report Database

This “how we built this” article explores all the work that went into the Force Report Database from NJ Advanced Media. Awesome to see data reporters sharing not just the outcome (in this case a tool to help the residents of New Jersey understand police use of force) but all the steps and missteps it took to get there. The lessons learned at the bottom could also make it easy for other places to replicate this reporting.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.

Art Current Events Design Four Short Things Sports

Four Short Things – 25 January 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

The Greatest Olympian You’ve Never Heard of: Eddie Eagan and an Unlikely Double

Eddie Eagan is a unique individual who did something no one else has done: he won gold medals at both the Winter and Summer Olympics in different sports. When we think about “The Greatest Athletes”, we often talk about people who dominated in one sport. Eagan’s medals came in the radically different fields of Boxing and Bobsleighed. And that is only the start of his story.

Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts

This comprehensive overview of Nauman’s work takes place at both MoMA and PS1, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Nauman’s art isn’t easily categorized, he moves across mediums, themes, and styles with the appearance of ease. One of the parts that stuck with me was Nauman’s opinion that by deciding to create, anything he made could be art.

I’m an artist. I want to be in the studio. I want to be doing something, and you just get desperate, and so you just do whatever’s at hand, and you don’t even worry about whether it’s going to be interesting or not interesting to anybody else or even yourself. You just have to make something.

Bruce Nauman: Make-Work | Art21 “Extended Play”

Do You Know Your Users?

I’m a big believer that personas are a tool that software development better. They help fight the false perception bias that we all suffer from and give us makers an idea of who we are making software for. I’ve gone so far as to use personas for event planning. This overview doesn’t just cover why personas are important, it also explores how to go about making them.

Signal Problems

My friend K.Adam White recommended this to me and I’m happy he did. It’s a great overview of how the NYC subway is doing and what is wrong with it now. It describes it self as:

Signal Problems, a weekly newsletter helping you figure out what is going on with the subway, made every week by Aaron Gordon, transportation reporter. Read on the web or view the archives at .nyc.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.