Oct 25, 2011

REVIEW | Son Of Pop: Ron English Paints his Progeny.


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Ron English:Abstract Expressionism book cover, 2007, Ron English

Ron English is most well known for his street art that is most commonly a satire of popular brand’s imagery and advertising methods. His most popular mash up of art includes high culture images infused with low culture images or ideas. These are two things one usually doesn’t see together, especially in advertising.  English also was one of the first people to transform street art from wild style lettering into clever and meaningful statements. Enlgish has been hijacking spaces all over the world, public and private, since the early 90’s. In July of 2007 a book English had written about his own art was released entitled, "Son Of Pop: Ron English Paints his Progeny".

Speaking about his art and inspiration for what he does, the tone through out the book is somber for the most part, but very obvious what he is the most passionate about. The commercialism and greed that America has now built it’s framing on is one thing that disgusts him most.  English uses words such as “filthy” (p.14)  and  “greedy” (p.17)  while describing what  being an American now means to him.  

 His main muse oddly enough , are his children. Using them in most of his works as the faces, he makes them the targets of the commercialism we face today. On page six he states how


People sometimes comment on the fact that I don’t carry pictures of my kids in my wallet. I don’t have to. Everywhere I go, there they are. On gallery walls in London or Japan, on billboards, in Spain or New York, on movie screens in Indiana, Ohio or wherever I happen to be traveling. Since birth, they have been the subject of my art, be it paintings, billboards or whatever form my art takes at any given moment. Today it is this book.
Mickey , Ron English, 2011, Oil on Canvas
English's creepy images haunt you, the next time you see mickey you will see this demented character shown above. The amount of expression used is also very important, making sure the exaggerated character hits deep and makes you remember what you saw . English talks about the importance of the high levels of saturation and contrast to make the expressions towards the viewers the most real and intimidating. The focus on Disney and it's characters, such as Mickey, stemmed from watching movies with his children. He says he realized from having kids how much movies and cartoons tried to warp your children's minds, subliminally and not. Cartoons make life seem perfect, but many times, only if you have Disney things or are watching Disney cartoons. Showing Mickey as wide ees and looking down it almost makes it provocative. When talking to a human eye contact is important, almost anytime some one is looking down while talking it is bad. No eye contant can point out when someone is lying, as well as a lustful stare, as it looks mickey is doing now. As I type this I feel as if he is staring at my cheast, I can't even imagine what being in front of the actual work would be like. Standing at 4 feet tall and  nearly 3 feet wide, the intimidation recieved must be tripled in strength when it's in real life.

-Mary Gardner

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