Guernica Days – Ron English

Firstly, I have to tell you, I am very pleased that the Christmas spat of artwork is over.  I really started it with good intentions, and then really found myself struggling to stay away from the cliched icons of season.  I tell you this as I think that cliched icons is a good point to start on when speaking about the artist Ron English.

If you have ever seen any of English’s work, you will know that it is a delightful mash up of genres, leading to a joyful and intelligent juxtaposition of highbrow and lowbrow art.  English himself coined the phrase “Popaganda” to describe his unique style.

You might be very familiar with English’s images of character such as Bart Simpson, or Snoopy, drawn in their iconic way, but baring a skeletal grin, his work seen in galleries, movies and on the street.

I have chose one of English’s revival pieces.  Specifically based around the Picasso piece Guernica.

The original piece was a direct reaction of Nazi bombing, created in 1937, and is deemed one of the most moving and powerful anti war artworks created.  It shows the suffering and anguish of the people of Guernica, as well as the violence and chaos.  Prominent in the picture, a gored horse and a bull in flames, showing the utter devastation to all life forms, not just human residents.


During a three year stint of exploration work of this art piece, English reimaged and revived the work in his own flamboyant style.  This generated 18 paintings which have been displayed in the Allouche Gallery in NYC.

The particular one I have picked, shows the original pieces from Picasso’s work, almost climbing off the walls, as a bomber flies over.  In the foreground, other iconic Picasso subjects are seen, almost undeterred by the onset of the bombing.

The colour palette and style of the subjects match Picasso’s perfectly, but the mix of the additional bomber and clouded cityscape in the background, adds a layer of intensity to the anti war feeling.

The technique, gives a wholly modern feel, almost 3D in effect, changing the original depth of field and sadness to the piece.

If you want to see more of Ron English’s work you can find it here

What do you think of this revamp?  Why not tell me in the comments?  Like this post?  Why not share it?


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