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Misha Aronov

Born in the former USSR in 1962, Misha Aronov's path to fine art photography is informed by his childhood journey from Communist Russia to Los Angeles. In 1980 the Soviet Union was a year into its war with Afghanistan and military service was compulsory for men 18 and over. As Jews, Misha's family experienced discrimination in Russia and his parents wanted a better life for him. So on the eve of his 18th birthday, the Aronovs took advantage of a short lived policy that allowed Jews to immigrate to Israel as long as they surrendered their property and all but $500. Instead of reporting for duty, Aronovs boarded a train for West Germany.

Upon reaching Germany, they abandoned any pretense of immigrating to Israel (which also mandated compulsory military service), and boarded a plane to United States. They decided to move to Los Angeles because they distant family members living there. None of them spoke any English, but Misha's industrious father found a job the next day.

While running errands with someone from his host family, he walked by an electronics shop. With some helpful interpretation from his companion, his father convinced the owner to hire him. He more than made up for his language barrier with his background as an engineer. Two years later Misha's father purchased the repair shop from the owner who wanted to retire.

Misha quickly learned English and enrolled at USC. After graduating, he helped run his father's expanding business while pursuing a career in finance and marketing. Growing up behind the Iron Curtain fostered a deep desire to see the world, and Misha's growing success afforded him the opportunity to travel. As the world opened up to Misha, he discovered a passion for both writing and photography. The twin interests were not connected at first but many of Misha's stories were inspired by his travel locations, which he had also captured with his Laica camera.

Now a novelist, Misha always knew his writing was for other people, but he always considered his photography for himself. But after years of friends and family asking for reproductions of the work displayed in his home, Misha's next chapter is to share his photography with the world.