*1935 in Sacramento, USA
†2018 in Oakland, USA
Mel Ramos was an American figurative painter and is considered an important proponent of the Pop art movement. His paintings, often depicting nude women, were a satire on how women’s bodies were used by mainstream advertising to sell products to male audiences. After receiving his MFA from Sacramento State University in 1958, Ramos worked closely with his mentor Wayne Thiebaud. He took interest in material advertising culture and pin-up models as elements of the same source. In 1972, he began to recreate historical masterpieces by artists such as Ingres, Manet and Velazquez. Though his masterful and laborious painterly technique was at odds with the methods of Pop, he is widely considered one of its masters, and the trailblazer for Pop art on the West Coast, who also influenced generations of contemporary artists as a tireless educator. In 2011, the Albertina, Vienna held a large retrospective for the painter. Today Ramos’s work is held in numerous collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; and the Whitney Museum of Art, New York.