Arturo Vega

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arturo Vega
Arturo Vega1.jpg
Vega in 2006
Born(1947-10-13)October 13, 1947[1]
Chihuahua, Mexico
DiedJune 8, 2013(2013-06-08) (aged 65)
OccupationGraphic designer
Years active1975–2013
EmployerThe Ramones

Arturo Vega (13 October 1947 – 8 June 2013) was a Mexican-American graphic designer best known for his long association with the punk rock group The Ramones. He designed the group's iconic logo, and was sometimes called the fifth Ramone. Officially dubbed the group's artistic director, he was also charged with designing stage lighting for concerts, supervised sales of shirts and other merchandise and was the band's sometimes spokesman.

In 1973, Vega became friends with Dee Dee Ramone (born Douglas Colvin) whose girlfriend lived in Vega's apartment building.[1] During the band's existence between 1974 and 1996, Vega attended all but a handful of their over 2,200 concerts.[1]

Vega's logo for the Ramones was inspired by the U.S. Presidential Seal, with several alterations including the band member's names arranged in a circle, and the eagle gripping a baseball bat rather than a quiver of arrows (a reference to their song "Beat on the Brat" and Johnny Ramone's love of baseball).[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] He adapted the Presidential Seal to reflect his belief that Ramones were "the ultimate all-American band”.[1]

Vega died from cancer on 8 June 2013 at the age of 65.[12]


Inspired by Andy Warhol,[13] Piet Mondrian or Roy Lichtenstein[14] in his artistic approach, Arturo Vega likes to play with shapes, words and bright colors and is thus close to the pop art[15] movement.

A photograph of the Ramones by Vega was exhibited at MoMa in 2014 as part of the exhibition Designing Modern Women 1890 - 1990. In 2017, a retrospective exhibition was held at Howl Art in New York City, entitled "Empire: An Arturo Vega Retrospective".[16]

Several exhibitions and institutions are linked to Vega's work. In 2008, the artist moved to Berlin to mount the permanent exhibition of the Ramones Museum in the central district of Berlin-Mitte. About Vega, the Ramones Museum team says: "He was constantly urging us to shake things up and move things around, to see things differently, to experiment and not to keep anything set in stone. As he did in his own work. [He would constantly push us to change or move things around, encourage us to experiment and not hold on to things for too long. Just as he did with his own work]".[17]

The non-profit organization Howl! Arts, located in New York City's East Village and founded in 2015 by Jane Friedman, offers regular retrospectives that include Vega's work. A great friend of Friedman's and one of the founding pillars of Howl Arts Gallery,[18] Vega will in fact donate her work to the gallery. The exhibition Icons, Iconoclasts and Outsiders, held from September 2021 to March 2022, includes several of his paintings,[19] as does the 2015 exhibition Arturo Vega American Treasure at Howl! and Empire: An Arturo Vega Retrospective in 2016 at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e Yardley, William (June 11, 2013). "Arturo Vega, Shepherd for the Ramones, Dies at 65". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "In Memoriam: Arturo Vega (1947-2013)". June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  3. ^ Coulehan, Erin (June 10, 2013). "Arturo Vega, Ramones Logo Designer, Dead at 65". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  4. ^ McNeil, Legs (June 14, 2013). "Happy, Happy, Happy! - A Memory of Arturo Vega". Vice magazine. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  5. ^ "Arturo Vega, Ramones' Beloved Artistic Director and Confidant, Dead at 65". Spin. June 8, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  6. ^ "Arturo Vega, the Ramones logo designer, put the seal on their success". The Guardian. June 10, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  7. ^ Minsker, Evan (June 9, 2013). "R.I.P. Arturo Vega, Ramones' Graphic Designer". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  8. ^ "Obituaries — Arturo Vega". The Daily Telegraph. July 8, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  9. ^ "Ramones artistic director Arturo Vega dies, aged 65". NME. June 10, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Perrone, Pierre (July 10, 2013). "Arturo Vega: Designer who became known as 'the fifth Ramone'". The Independent. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  11. ^ Minsker, Ethan (March 17, 2010). "Arturo Vega: Hambleton Collector & Artist Mentor". Vimeo. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  12. ^ de Perez, Al (June 9, 2013). "RIP Arturo Vega: My Memories Of The Ramones Design Legend". Sabotage Times. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  13. ^ Cameron, Dan. "Hiding in Plain Sight" (PDF). Howl! Arts.
  14. ^ Cameron, Dan. "Arturo Vega American Treasure".
  15. ^ Yardley, William. "William Yardley, « Arturo Vega, Shepherd for the Ramones, Dies at 65". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Empire: An Arturo Vega Retrospective". Howl Arts. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Ramones Museum Museum". Ramones Museum Museum.
  18. ^ Clark, Roger. "Howl preserves cultural history of East Village in new headquarters". Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  19. ^ "Icons, Iconoclasts and Outsiders". Retrieved 15 February 2017.

External links[edit]