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Mel Ramos [Hardcover]

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Item description for Mel Ramos by Thomas Levy Belinda Grace Gardner...

Eroticism, women, sex, women, fetishism, women, and obsession--of all the pop artists, it is perhaps Mel Ramos who has dealt most intensively and consistently with these enjoyable subjects. Always bright, always provocative, and always entertaining, his appropriations of some of the most vulgar yet familiar imagery to come out of the 1960s and 70s advertising world never fail to make the viewer blush with shame and almost simultaneously question such a moralistic reaction. If at first sight his paintings and graphic works are mistaken for typical, if raunchy, product placements, the absurdity of a naked girlie riding a giant cigar soon becomes apparent, as does the subtle surrealism of another naked pinup girl holding a giant spark plug in front of a corporate emblem. Sex and consumer culture never looked so good together, or so parodic.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.4" Width: 8.3" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   3.15 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 2, 2003
Publisher   Kerber
ISBN  3933040884  
ISBN13  9783933040886  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Schools, Periods & Styles > Modern
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art Instruction & Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > General
5Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design

Reviews - What do customers think about Mel Ramos?

pin-up product placement  Jul 9, 2008


This is a good retrospective on the West Coast Pop painter Mel Ramos. The book includes an essay by Belinda Grace Gardner and the transcript of a 2002 interview with the artist. Both texts are printed in English and German languages. The book is predominately made up of color plates of paintings ranging from the early 1960s to 2002. If you like Ramos' work, it is an affordable collection with great images and good information. The book is worthwhile overall, my main complaint is that the ordering of some of the images makes very little sense.

Mel Ramos started out in his painting career doing more typical Pop art paintings, using images from comic books and movie posters. In this book you can see his paintings of Superman, Batman, the Flash and Wonder Woman. The image in "Crime Buster" (1962) looks like the inspiration for the Evil Empire album cover by Rage Against the Machine. By the mid-1960s Ramos had developed his trademark style using posing pinup women and advertising graphics in his paintings. for example on page 117 of this book, his 1965 painting "Valvoleena" shows a naked woman emerging from a large can of motor oil. He has also placed his naked ladies in front of Coca-Cola bottles, on top of hamburgers and lying inside of a banana split. One ongoing series of his is "Hav-a-Havana" which shows the gals with cigar products.

In addition to his brand-oriented paintings Ramos has worked on some other ideas as a painter. An early series to feature the smiling nudes were the voyeuristic "Peek-a-Boo" paintings where the women were are visible behind a keyhole. These are reproduced here on pages 182-197. He has also done a few of his own "interpretations" of famous artworks, including those by DeKooning, Mondigliani, Velasquez, Jasper Johns, and most famously Claude Manet. Another more unusual project showed women cuddling with various animals including a huge gorilla, a panda bear and a walrus!

You may notice that he often uses famous women's faces on many of his nude images, such as:

Hav-a-Havana#8, 2002 (Liv Tyler), pg. 67
Minni Mounds, 2002 (Cameron Diaz), pg. 69
Gitanes #22, 2001, (Heather Locklear), pg. 80
Hav-a-Havana#5, 1997 (Tyra Banks), pg. 233

I am not sure but I believe that the face of Hav-a-Havana#6 (2002) may be Carmen Electra. Hav-a-Havana#9 (2002) looks like either Angie Everhart or Geena Davis. Mel seems to really have a thing for Liv Tyler, as her face appears several times throughout the book.

"I have repeatedly heard the opinion voiced that I must
hate women, the way I paint them. However, contrary
to what most feminists say about me, I think that all
of my work sums up the fact that I really love women.
When I get a compliment from a woman, to me it's the
highest honor."
~Mel Ramos, page 209
Mel Ramos art & Life  May 9, 2008
This book displays many of his artworks and adverts. but allso contains interviews, texts and many pictures from his life, friends, models etc.
Written in English and German.
All the pinups are in color with enough quality and the rest of the pages are mainly in Black and White.
So, its not the definite compilation of Ramos works, but it contains his most famous pinups; and as far as there are very few books about Mel Ramos, this is the best i've found for a reasonable price.

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