The American dream was so potent that somehow it seduced the world whilst the biggest military the planet has ever seen ransacked weaker countries and herded 3 million largely non-white Americans into the biggest penal system ever created. The contradictions of the ‘Land of the Free’ have been buried beneath an endless tide of pap culture and Walt Disney drizzle. Luckily Ron English has made it his mission to peel back the skin and peer within.
English’s exhibition in London is essential viewing. Despite the paintings’ cartoon-like facade they are somehow hyper-real. Walking into the gallery is an exhilarating trip. It is both instantly familiar and disturbingly warped. English grabs the bones and yanks them up for us to see. The incredible thing is that whilst the subject matter and approach is challenging the paintings are beautiful. I want to hang one in my gaff.
Ron English: Skin Deep: Post-Instinctual Afterthoughts on Psychological Portraiture: 24 June – 23 July 2011
Lazarides Rathbone, 11 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HR + 44 (0) 207 636 5443 Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 7pm, admission free, www.lazinc.com
If you like Ron English check out Reclaim Your Mind here