The ‘Godfather of Street Art’ Ron English Irreverently Mashes Up Pop Culture in a New Show—See Images Here

"“POPaganda On Paper," a new exhibition at New York's Pop International Galleries, brings together the artist's latest works on paper.

Ron English, Rabbbit and Raccoon, 2020. Courtesy of Pop International Gallery.
Ron English, Rabbbit and Raccoon, 2020. Courtesy of Pop International Galleries.

Since the 1980s, prolific American artist Ron English, nicknamed the “Godfather of Street Art,” has been mashing up imagery of comic strip characters, famous product mascots, and from contemporary art history in his signature brash and boisterous murals, which have made him a legend among illustrators and street artists alike.

But the artist’s appeal is also popularly widespread. In fact, you may know his work without knowing his name: English has painted album covers for The Dandy Warhols, Chris Brown, and Guns N’ Roses, and in the lead-up to the 2008 election, his Abraham Obama, which visually blended the faces of the 16th and 44th presidents, was widely reproduced. 

Now, “POPaganda On Paper”—a term English coined to describe his signature high-low aesthetic—is the title of a new exhibition at New York’s Pop International Galleries, which brings together new works on paper and a selection of limited-edition prints by the artist.

Fans of English will not be disappointed. Many of the artist’s iconic characters make appearances in his recent works, as well as a few new additions that show that English’s wry and winking humor have not been dampened by the trying past months and the artist’s own battle with COVID-19.

Many of his new works take place in a town called Delusionville. “A picturesque utopia, somewhere down a rabbit hole, with the town motto ‘If you believe, it doesn’t have to be true’ has never been more of a reality than now,” explained gallery owner Jeff Jaffe of the imaginary city. “America’s premier Pop iconoclast reminds us to take a break while embracing life with a sense of humor and a voice to connect us all.”

See images from “POPaganda On Paper” below.

POPaganda On Paper” is on view at Pop International Galleries virtually through October 15, 2020.

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