Never subtle, Ron English approaches many of popular culture's most recognized icons with tongue planted firmly in cheek; and with a master's precision in execution. His image mash-ups are stellar "popaganda" visual editorials: Surreal images such as his Marilyn Monroe portrait with Mickey Mouse breasts, his fat Ronald McDonald seen in the documentary Super Size Me, and his Homer Simpson Jackson Pollack piece.
Last night, his New York art dealer, Opera Gallery, hosted an opening to "hear the story behind the creation of this global image." The "this" referred to is Mr. English's Abraham Lincoln / Barack Obama fusion portrait. Unveiled in Boston back in July, the giant billboards of the painting even provoked cries of anarchy to the mayor's office.
Ron was on hand to share his side of the story and explain his perspective. Some pundits have suggested that Obama invoked Lincoln in the speech announcing his candidacy last year. After all, both were lawyers who served in the Illinois State Assembly before being elected to Congress. And many people think Obama being elected president would be a major milestone in Black American history, not unlike Lincoln's Emancipation.
Is it too early to crown the junior Senator a mighty leader? Yes. But that should not stop art fans from Red or Blue states from admiring this portrait.
Regardless of your political leanings, Ron's work elicits response, opinion, and appreciation for his craft and creativity.