The Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery presents selections from Mel Ramos’ recent six-venue European tour. Paintings spanning the 1960s to the present are featured, including highlights from each major series in the artist’s career: the Female Super-Heroines, the Commercial Pin-up images, Beauty & the Beast, Salute to Old Masters, I Still Get a Thrill when I See Bill, the Drawing Lessons and the Galatea series.
Drawing upon the pin-up magazines of the fifties and sixties, Ramos contradicts classical notions of female beauty through his playful use of humor. Rather than treating the female nude as an idealized form, Ramos approaches the subject from a Pop sensibility--treating beauty as a product of creation, a false idealized constructed mirror image of perfection. His artworks pay homage to the very origin of sexual desire, and popularize the female physique through humanization of the female pose and his use of the facial expression. The emotional enticing come hither look, like a seductive siren, is omnipresent in each of his subjects. Featured paintings, Giant Panda (1971) and Lucky Lulu Blonde (1965), embody these characteristics, playing upon the viewer’s own preconceived notions of beauty, sexuality and the traditional representation of the female form.
Born in 1935, Mel Ramos was raised in California where he received his masters from Sacramento State College in 1958. He has taught at Arizona State University as well as California State University.