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First NZ exhibition of iconic New York artist Ron English


Webb’s is pleased to announce New Zealand’s first exhibition of iconic New York artist Ron English


Ron English has bombed the global landscape with unforgettable images, on the street, in museums, in movies, books and television. Beginning with his ‘liberated’ billboards of the 1980’s in which commercial billboards were illegally altered so that they broadcast political messages, his career has spanned and continued to evolve for more than three decades.

Webb’s Managing Director Neil Campbell is thrilled to be offering the show to a New Zealand audience for the first time;

“To have Ron in New Zealand is fantastic, his work has influenced a new generation of artists including the likes of Bansky and Shepard Fairey who have collaborated with Ron in recent years. His work remains as humorous and critical as it was when he started his subversive billboard works in the early 80s. Of course his works connection with Andy Warhol is commonly referenced. Ron continues to produce works that remind us that the line between commercialism and art can be very thin. The show we are bring to NZ is a mix of large installation works, paintings and a selection of his more iconic paste ups, keep an eye out for some controversial billboards also. English’s influence is central to street arts advancement from a practise focussed on lettering and graphic imagery to a conceptually focused means of political expression. It’s this aspect of the his work that you’ll be able to experience at the show”.

English coined the term POPaganda to describe his signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones, from superhero mythology to totems of art history, populated with his vast and constantly growing arsenal of original characters, including MC Supersized, the obese fast-food mascot featured in the hit movie “Supersize Me,” and Abraham Obama, the fusion of America’s 16th and 44th Presidents, an image widely discussed in the media as directly impacting the 2008 election.

As English’s reputation has grown, his unique imagery has continued to pervade contemporary culture. Works by English are held in the permanent collections of Whitney Museum, New York; Everhart Museum, Pasadena; Mauermuseum, Berlin; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Paris. English has recently held a public seminar at Museum of Modern Art, New York.

New Zealanders can get an insight into the world of ‘POPaganda’ at Webb’s RON ENGLISH exhibition from May 10th – 20th and the opportunity to hear Ron English at Semi-Permanent*

*Associated Events: Ron English speaking at Semi-Permanent, Auckland 18-19 May 2012.


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