2C for ART
Mel Ramos was born 1935 in Sacramento, California. The popularity of his works is evident in the fact that since 1959 he has participated in more than 120 group shows. He has enjoyed great success and critical acclaim as an adventuresome artist with the creativity and sense of humor it takes to remain on top.
Mel Ramos received his first important recognition in the early 1960s. Ramos, along with other artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and James Rosenquist, produced art works that celebrated aspects of popular culture as represented in mass media. His paintings were shown along with theirs in major exhibitions of Pop Art both in this country and in Europe and were reproduced, often with irony, in books, catalogs, and periodicals throughout the world.
In the early 1960ies he began a series of garishly colored super-heroes taken from comic strips using a thick oleaginous pigment. He was first included in a collective exhibition in Pop Goes the East at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston. In 1964 he had his first solo exhibition at the Bianchini Gallery, New York.
Later on he developed a specific kind of Pop Art iconography by combining nude pin-up girls from American magazines and advertisements with branded products.
Some critical observers of the "art scene" persist in classifying Mel Ramos as a Pop Artist. His identification with the Pop movement of the 1960's was much too narrow to account for the braoder context of his paintings. His humor is not satire of ridicule. His "parodies"are respectful, affectionate tributes, a celebration of images with personal meanining.
A retrospective of over 50 years of his work opened at the Crocker Art Museum in his hometown of Sacramento in 2012. This show is "the first major exhibition of his work in his hometown", and his first American retrospective in 35 years.