Ron English (artist)

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Ron English
English at the 2012 New York Comic Con.
Born Ronald English
Occupation Pop artist
Official website

Ron English (born 1966) is an American contemporary artist who explores brand imagery and advertising. Born in Dallas, Texas, he is known for the use of color and comic book collage.


English is equally known for his photorealist technique, use of color and comic book collage, as is he for his unique cast of characters, including: sexualized animals, skeletal figures, Marilyn Monroe with Mickey Mouse breasts, and the corpulent fast food spokesman "MC Supersized" and his iconic widely-circulated "Abraham Obama".[citation needed]

English was one of the on-camera subjects interviewed for the documentary Super Size Me (2004), which showcased his McDonald's-themed artwork -- inspired by English's belief about the effect of fast food franchises and restaurant chains on the American culture.[1]

"Abraham Obama" Template:Something just as insightful as MC Supersized is needed here during the 2008 US Presidential Election is a significant creation made with a "portrait-fusion" of the America’s 16th and 44th Presidents.[2][3]

English has also painted several album covers including The Dandy Warhols album cover Welcome to the Monkey House and the cover of the 2010 album Slash. He later painted the Chris Brown album cover for F.A.M.E. Some of his paintings were used in the Morgan Spurlock documentaries Super Size Me and POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Following the credits, he receives special thanks and is credited as "The Greatest Living Artist."

English has also collaborated with Daniel Johnston and Jack Medicine in the Hyperjinx Tricycle project.[4] English most recently created the artwork for Art Nouveau Magazine's first print issue.[5]

English is the subject of a Pedro Carvajal documentary entitled Popaganda, named after one of his art books.[6] He is also a subject of "The Art Army" action figures by Michael Leavitt.

English and his fellow artists Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf and Robbie Conal guest-starred on the March 4, 2012, episode of the television program The Simpsons, "Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart".[7]

English's work has most recently been featured in Seth Rogan's film This is the End and Movie 43

Street Art[edit]

In addition to his fine art painting, English has been involved in street art. This has included creating illegal murals and billboards that blend stunning visuals with biting political, consumerist and surrealist statements.[citation needed]

Culture jamming is one aspect of English's work, involving 'liberating' commercial billboards with his own messages. Frequent targets of his work include Joe Camel, McDonald's, and Mickey Mouse. English has initiated and participated in illegal public art campaigns since the early eighties. Some of his extralegal murals include one on the Berlin Wall's Checkpoint Charlie in 1989 and one on the Palestinian separation wall in the West Bank in 2007, with fellow street artists Banksy and Swoon (artist).[citation needed]

During the 2008 Presidential Election, he combined the features of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln for a distributed image entitled "Abraham Obama". He created an oil painting, which was photographed to produce a print. The “Abraham Obama” print was sold to raise funds for and promote the Obama campaign. 200 prints were created.[citation needed]

“Abraham Obama” was also used in a series of street murals installed in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Denver. The image was shown on television and in newspapers and magazines in countries including Argentina, Brazil, Britain, France, Poland, and Iran. The mural consisted of the image, repeated in rainbow effect color combinations of 14 panels, each 12 by 6 foot. Portions of the celebratory video of’s “It’s a New Day” were filmed in front of the LA Abraham Obama mural.[citation needed]

Fine Art[edit]

In 2006, English exhibited "Grade School Guernica",[8] one of his versions of Picasso's "Guernica", at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston.[9] The painting depicts the scene acted out by his children viewed from the point of view of the bomber airplane. "Grade School Guernnica" explores the nature of violence, from schoolyard play to global carnage, as it comments on the embedding of propaganda into cultural references largely taken for granted.[citation needed]

"Lazarus Rising" was English's first exhibit in the UK, at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms in London.[10] The show featured a comic book collage and oil on canvas pieces, where if you looked carefully, you would trace the genesis of the characters and follow the arc of their inner life.[citation needed]

His exhibition "Season In Supurbia" took place in 2009 at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City.[11]

"POPagandastan" was exhibited in 2013, also at the Corey Helford Gallery.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Super Size Me (2004). "MC Supersized" is English's interpretation of Ronald MacDonald, a character that Ronald likely imitate; a western culture Buddha eating a diet of what is peddled by MacDonald’s in the religion of consumerism and an over-sated devotee.
  2. ^ Drake, John C. (2008-07-08). "Street artist inspires too much enthusiasm". Boston Globe. 
  3. ^ Borrell, Alexandre (June 2010). "Peut-on greffer le visage d'une icone ?". Parlement(s), Revue d'histoire politique. 
  4. ^ Dodero, Camille (2008-11-14). "Ron English Might Still Have That Last Unreleased Wesley Willis Record". Village Voice. 
  5. ^ "Ron English Covers Art Nouveau Magazine’s Summer Issue". Art Nouveau. May 17, 2010.
  6. ^ Popaganda: The Art and Crimes of Ron English (2005) at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ Musat, Stephanie (March 3, 2012). "Artist Ron English, who resides in Jersey City, will appear on the next episode of The Simpsons as himself ".
  8. ^ Grade School Guernica, Popaganda
  9. ^ Power Pathos, June 21, 2006, Station Museum of Contemporary Art
  10. ^ Ron English: LAZARUS RISING book
  11. ^ Dambrot, Shana Nys (Nov 21, 2011). "Ron English's 'Seasons In Supurbia' at Corey Helford: Artist's Perverted Spoofing of Disney, G.I. Joe and Charlie Brown". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  12. ^ POPagandastan,

External links[edit]