Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Ron English & Alex Pardee @ Fifty24SF
Before Banksy, before Shepherd Fairey, there was Ron English, the catalytic figure in the advancement of street art away from traditional eighties wild-style lettering and into clever statement and masterful trompe l’oeil based art. For “Mythographic Vicissitudes,” Ron created a series of paintings based on variations on modern mythologies. Applying a sense of reverence to his patented mash of religion, history and art, English gives equal weight to all mythologies, from Jesus to Bigfoot to Expressionism. “Loch Ness Starry Night” depicts the emergence of the monster as seen through the eyes of Vincent Van Gogh. “Bigfoot in the Garden of the Gods” exposes the mythical missing link in his Colorado Springs lair, the epicenter of American hardcore Christianity. Marilyn and a mysterious Mickey Mouse, his face obscured by a gas mask, are bathed in Toulouse-Lautrecian light. And, a portrait of Jesus, the fisher of boys, fills in the messiah’s missing years.
Each year, thousands of children turn up missing. Some are found. But most, unfortunately, are not. Many of the children are victims of abduction, some are runaways, and a large handful of them . . . have been EATEN by monsters. However, the digestive system of many monsters is abnormally slow, and a large portion of these children that have been eaten are still ALIVE, patiently waiting to be saved. Over the last year, from various parts of the country, I have gathered a selection of written S.O.S. letters from some of these children who are slowly being digested by the monsters that devoured them. My new solo art exhibition, titled "Letters From Digested Children" will showcase those S.O.S letters, as well as all new artwork, installations, and portraits of some of the more popular child-eating monsters in honor of the children who have been wrongfully eaten, and slowly digested.