The image presented some unique printing challenges–Ron’s imagery has a truly socks-knocking, insane hyper-real aesthetic about it and we wanted to preserve as much of that as we could when translating the large-scale oil painting into a small-scale intaglio print. Similarly, frames like the one employed here were originally made to showcase old-style, tack-sharp daguerreotypes; we went through not a few rounds of plates attempting to be true to our sources, squeezing (literally!) as much fine detail, smooth sheen, and as many bottomless rich darks out of the plate as is possible.Ron English "Zembo Boy" Previously:Ron English billboard mods in L.A. - Boing Boing The Blab! Show and Devilish Greetings: September 8, 2007, Los ... Last Gasp on My Doorstep - Boing Boing Read the rest
Do you see why it is a mistake to attack outdoor advertising on aesthetic grounds? The row then becomes a matter of comparative beauty and one can go on haggling about that forever. In a sense the garden clubs have led us down the garden path. For when the girls insist that they shall never see a billboard as lovely as a tree it then becomes legitimate to consider all the things a billboard is lovely as. There are quite a few: ramshackle barns, flophouses, poolrooms, cheap lodgings for ancient ladies with orange-tinted hair. Since the world is absolutely stiff with arguably uglier objects it may be some time before the billboards come down; presumably the last billboard will stand on top of the last shack.Read the rest
The other thing wrong with the aesthetic line of attack is its utter irrelevancy. It is like arguing that mice should be kept out of the kitchen because they don't match the Formica. What a billboard looks like has nothing to do with whether it ought to be there. Nor does the fact that it carries advertising have anything to do with it, either. It would be the same thing if it were devoted exclusively to reproductions of the old masters; just as the open range would have been the same thing if they had only run peacocks on it.
There are a lot of things that can suck about being a freelance writer: long, solitary hours, throwing pitches at magazines like so much spaghetti against a wall (with nothing sticking), low pay, no benefits, having to discipline yourself to stay in the saddle, while sunshine, or a nap, or The Daily Show strum their sexy siren songs. One thing that does not suck is getting lots of free shit: books, CDs, movies, t-shirts, free trips to exotic locales (if you're the type that succumbs to the latter, somewhat questionable, job perk). When I knew I was going to be doing this-here Boing Boing Guest Blogging gig, I wrote off for some books I might want to review. I saw in my latest issue of Hi-Fructose that there was a new Chris Mars book, called Tolerance. And there was that new Attaboy postcards collection. Oh, and there was also that last Ron English book. I sent an email off to the Last Gasp PR guy and asked if I could see review copies of these. He wrote back and said sure and he'd send some other titles I might be interested in as well. A week or so later, a box showed up on my front porch which was so heavy, I could barely muscle it into the house. Read the rest
This Friday July 18th M Modern Gallery will be curating an epic show entitled Crimes on Canvas. This group exhibition takes place within the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Grand Ballroom and is part of the 944 magazine 3rd anniversary party.Read the rest
The show will feature new sculpture and paintings by some of the east and west coasts' finest artists, including: Andrew Brandou, Tim Biskup, Glenn Barr, SAS Christian, Bob Dob, Pizz Chris Mars, Amy Crehore, David Stoupakis, Travis Louie, Shag, Amanda Visell (shown above), Ron English and many more.
Ron English has been called the Robin Hood of Madison Avenue for his seminal work in billboard subvertising and is widely considered to be a founding member of the Culture Jamming movement. Abject Expressionism is a comprehensive survey covering 20 years’ of English’s career, from staged photography to neo-Surrealist oil paintings to street art.Link Read the rest
English’s work often involves “liberating” commercial billboards with his own messages: he wrangles carefully created corporate iconographies so they are metaphorically turned upside down, used against the corporations they are meant to represent. English’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including Paris’ MOCA and NYC’s Whitney. An important look at the work of an artist who has been at the forefront of activist art movements in photography, painting and underground music.
Featuring some of todays top designers, collectors and toy producers including: Attaboy, Tim Biskup, Luke Chueh, Dalek, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Huck Gee, Thomas Han, Frank Kozik, Joe Ledbetter, Tara Mcpherson, Sket One, Joey Potts, Jermaine Rogers, Bwana Spoons, and many many more…Link Read the rest
This sequel to 2004's hugely popular (in multiple printings) The Devil in Design (featuring 18th- and 19th-century Krampus postcards) is a fascinating, full-color compendium of extremely rare devil postcards culled from key postcard collections from around the world and spanning approximately 1898 through the 1950s. Lavishly illustrated with over 150 striking and stylized full-color examples, the book is edited and designed by Monte Beauchamp, editor and designer of the popular graphic arts anthology Blab! Beginning in the late 19th Century, images of the devil began popping up on postcards in Austria and Germany, and by 1902 became so popular that they proliferated across all of Europe. American postcard manufacturers took note and jumped on the bandwagon, producing their own versions. These penny "dreadfuls" were used to promote a vast array of occasions and products – from festive holiday celebrations, such as Halloween and Christmas (in Europe), to popular household products such as furnaces, chili peppers, and insecticides.Thanks to Eric Reynolds of Fantagraphics, I'm delighted to provide this selection of postcards featured in the book. Read the rest
(Click on thumbnails for enlargement)
Here's more information on the upcoming Blab! Art show (I have a painting in it, on the far right).
Copro/Nason Gallery and Monte Beauchamp proudly presents "The Blab! Show," the third Group Art Exhibition featuring original paintings and illustrations from the NEW issue of BLAB! magazine: the leading anthology of art, illustration, found graphics, and sequential art.Read the rest
Curator (and BLAB! founder) Monte Beauchamp will also debut the release of his new book Devilish Greetings: Vintage Devil Postcards. To celebrate the event over two dozen artists have created Devil-themed paintings and illustrations and will be offering them for sale.
Artists for BOTH shows include: Shag, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Ron English, Sas Christian, Travis Louie, Mark Frauenfelder, Fred Stonehouse, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, Greg Clarke, Drew Friedman, Ryan Heshka, Dan Quintana, Travis Lampe, Walter Minus, Mark Mothersbaugh, Jason Holley, Calef Brown, John Pound, Sergio Ruzzier, Skip Williamson and many more.
Guests include: Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Fred Stonehouse, Shag, Esther Pearl Watson, Mark Todd, Ron English, Calef Brown, Mark Frauenfelder, Greg Clarke, Travis Lampe, Jason Holley And Monte Beauchamp.
Monte Beauchamp is the founder and editor of the graphics/illustration/ fine arts/comix annual BLAB!, and his work has appeared in Graphis, Print, Communication Arts, American Illustration, Society of Publication Designers, and The Society of Illustrators Annual. His books include: Striking Images: Vintage Matchbook Cover Art (Chronicle Books), The Devil In Design (Fantagraphics), The Life & Times Of R. Crumb (St. Martin's Press), New & Used Blab!
BB: What's the big idea? Skaggs: Art comes in many colors and hues, shapes, sizes and forms. It can be decorative, functional, socially iconoclastic, or even politically revolutionary. To me the prank is fine art. Perpetrating pranks has enabled me to be expressive in many mediums. I incorporate sculpture, painting, graphic design, advertising, public relations, writing, directing, and acting. The execution of a prank, just like creating a painting or a sculpture, involves intent, content, technique and the magic that occurs when it takes on a life of its own.Read the rest
PARTY, SHOW AND SPECTACLE: Due to the "illegal" nature of Pranks, key speakers from the Billboard Liberation Front, etc, may be in disguise! Ex-hacker Marc Powell, Babalou and Karen Marcelo from SRL, Cacophony Society's Chris Radcliffe, and Prankster-Godfather MAL SHARPE will show their real faces (we think). Rare and inspiring pranks video clips will be narrated live, and questions from the audience will be taken. Cyclecide will bring a demo-cycle. Event is still being planned; other guests/events TBA. Videos will include Mal Sharpe's new prank DVD release (excerpt), a special Billboard Liberation Front clip, Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers' "Army Girls Gone Wild," Reverend Al's "Art of Bleeding Safety Film," and excerpts from Ron English's "Popaganda," the wild & crazy "Yes Men" Film, the Cyclecide film, and Scott Beale's "You'd Better Watch Out" documenting the Cacophony Society's wild "Santarchy" escapade in Portland. (For the past ten years, groups of folks dressed up as Santa Claus have invaded department stores, hotel parties and other events, causing ideological havoc and consumer confusion--anarchic fun! Over the years, the Santas have spread to major cities over the planet.) Far more than a video show, the Nov.Read the rest
What are pranks? For us, pranks are any humorous deeds, propaganda, sound bites, visual bites, performances and creative projects which pierce the veil of illusion and tell the truth. Pranks unseriously challenge accepted reality and rigid behavioral codes and speech. Pranks deftly undermine phoniness and hypocrisy. Pranks lampoon sanctimoniousness, self-glorification, selfmythologizing and self-aggrandizement. Pranks force the laziest muscle in the body, the imagination, to be exercised, stretched, and thus transcend its former self.The imagination is what creates the future; that which will be.Link (Thanks, V. Vale and Scott Beale!) Read the rest