Mel Ramos. Born in 1935 in Sacramento – died 2018, in California, he is considered one of the most important masters of American pop art. Similar to other protagonists of the artistic movement who exploded in the United States in the 60s, focuses on consumerism celebrated in an unmistakable way by advertising.
But rather than the serial and surgically cold essentiality of Andy Warhol or the comic book fi gures of Roy Lichenstein, Ramos turns his attention to the union between nude pin-ups shown generously with the product being publicized; the use of warmth, light and sensuality in his paintings is evidently favored by the climate of his origin, very diverse from the obsessive regulated behavior typical of inhabitants from cities such as New York. It is likely that this difference allows him on one hand to express that hedonistic pleasure that his works transpire and on the other, to be particularly efficient with sarcasm.
In fact, his curvaceous protagonists promote their bodies by overlapping the object to publicize, they themselves becoming a captivating consumer object, but visual; a complicity with the observer is engaged, captured by so much seductive beauty.
“His curvaceous protagonists promote their bodies by overlapping the object to publicize, they themselves becoming a captivating consumer object, but visual; a complicity with the observer is engaged, captured by so much seductive beauty”
These bodies with different levels of play acquire a tridimensionality that exalts their forms. Their translation into painted sculpture becomes the next unavoidable step. Ramos, who by his art, accentuates another of his reproaches – kitsch as the object of propaganda – that he holds in consideration with the balanced harmony typical of great artists.
We look at Chiquita Banana where from the exotic fruit erupts the curvy figure of a girl to Hav-a-Havana -2 in which the model is laying on top of a huge cigar, to Barbiburger that proposes a young woman comfortably seated on an unusual soft cushion, composed of a dressed hamburger, to the work The Pause That Refreshes characterized by curvy buttocks sitting on a Coca-Cola label. And so on…