Ron English’s “POPagandastan” opened at the Corey Helford Gallery on Saturday October 26, 2013. English’s paintings are nearly fluorescent amalgamations of pop surrealist imagery with historical and political homages to the way Americans worship, consume, and destroy. Each piece is vivid, with reoccurring characters that often play upon corporate logos. His street art is well known, his works are prolific and this exhibition was two years in the making. Needless to say, the gallery was packed.
Corey Helford Gallery’s two level floor plan allows those attending the exhibit to view the smaller works upstairs in an intimate loft area and English’s larger pieces downstairs, where the paintings loom to great effect. Since intricacy is such a key aspect of his work, English employs a multi-step process in painting, which is evident in the final product, especially the larger pieces on the ground floor. Three-dimensional scenes are first set up through modeling with clay and plastic, then photographed and finally painted.
While most art is in general difficult to replicate photo-wise on the Internet, in English’s case it is especially better to view in person as the detail and dizzying colors cannot be properly experienced on a computer screen. See them! “POPagandastan” will remain open until Nov. 22.