Contemporary Art

Ron English

United States 1966

Urban Art, Street Art

Ron English
Ron English
United States
January 14, 2014
Art somehow explains a lot that's happening in the world right now. Feel free to contact me at

It is a long way from being a ghost painter to becoming an icon, whose work is widely recognizable and immensely popular. Ron English has experienced both extremes as he traveled down the same path that included working as an anonymous painter for other artists but also reaching the level of popularity and fame that is simply unbelievable. Sure, people today are a little bit loose when branding certain artists as icons and legends, but English is certainly one. His pieces are easily recognizable, inspiring to the others, and so influential that they actually made an impact on the 2008 American presidential elections.

Ron English - Backyard Soldiers search for supersized documentary video on instagram about food and culture between 2011 and 2016
Ron English – Backyard Soldiers


The term POPaganda was coined to describe the artist’s constant mixing of the high and low art. He’s done pretty much everything when it comes to art – he is one of the founding fathers of street art and one of the forerunners of Pop Surrealism, he designs toys and sculptures, and he paints. One of his trademarks is the hijacking of advertising billboards and redoing them in the same style but with the characters of his own creation. The attention to details is very high and that is because of his past experiences as an art reproducer. When speaking of English’s inspirations, Picasso’s Guernica is at the top of the list, as well as the work of Keith Haring, Peter Saul, and Martin Wong. The approach of Gordon Matta-Clark, who placed a lot fewer restrictions on his process of creation, was also very influential for English.

When speaking of art and styles – English has pretty much done it all

Ron English - Uncle Scam's Last Breakfast, inspired by the star of comic culture
Ron English – Uncle Scam’s Last Breakfast

The Hijacker

The beginnings were frustrating for the artist when he worked as a ghost painter for other artists and was unaccredited. However, this type of work provided a lot of opportunities to improve the existing and learn new techniques. When he was younger, English began his now so characteristic hijacking of billboards, first in Texas, and he managed to re-do many of them before he was finally caught and charged with a 2nd-degree felony. Things have changed over the years, and even though the repainting billboards is still a felony, people now give him billboards, and he does them a favor by redoing them. The Dandy Warhols and Slash are some of the musicians English have done artworks for, and the level of fame reached new heights when he made an appearance on an episode of Simpsons, alongside Shepard Fairey, Robbie Conal, and Kenny Scharf.

Working as a ghost painter provided a lot of opportunities to improve and learn new techniques

Ron English - Monarch Elephant Profile (Left) - Rainbow Giraffe (Right)
Ron English – Monarch Elephant Profile (Left) – Rainbow Giraffe (Right)

The Legend

What does it mean to be a street art legend? Is the secret simply in achieving fame and fortune, or is there more? When your pieces become so wide-spread, so popular and influential so they actually have an impact on presidential elections in the USA, that’s when you are a legend. Ron English has conquered the world of art with his flawless techniques and endless inspiration. He is one of the Godfathers of billboard art, which he became interested in as the writing on the billboard seemed to possess a level of authority which was greater than those on the walls. So he started painting his messages over the ads, advertising the truth.

He is represented by Lazarides London, Corey Helford Gallery, Galerie Jacob Paulett and Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art.

Ron English lives and works in Jersey City.

Featured image: Ron English – portrait

All images © Ron English

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Still Here: A Decade of LazaridesLazarides, LondonGroup
2016Art Truancy: Celebrating 20 Years of Juxtapoz MagazineJonathan LeVine Gallery, New YorkGroup
2016Ron EnglishDorothy Circus Gallery, RomeSolo
2015NeoNatureCorey Helford Gallery, Culver City, CASolo
2015Product DisplacementCorey Helford Gallery, Culver City, CAGroup
2015Freaks And AmericanaCorey Helford Gallery, Culver City, CAGroup
2015Art Wynwood 2015Art Wynwood Pavilion, Midtown Miami - WynwoodGroup
2015Converse x Andy Warhol Art Auction
Joshua Liner GalleryGroup
2014New Year's Eve POPaganda Artist Ball
Tribeca Grand HotelGroup
2014ÉGRÉGORE - THE ZENITH OF POP SURREALISMGalerie d'Art Yves Laroche 6355 Saint-Laurent, Montreal QC H2S 3C3 CANADAGroup
2014The Wall in Our Heads American - Artists and the Berlin Wall
Washington DCGroup
2014Ron English, From Studio to StreetCaixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilSolo
2014Allouche Gallery - Inaugural ExhibitionAllouche Gallery 115 Spring St. Soho NYCGroup
2014Death and the Eternal ForeverAtomica Gallery, London U.K.Solo
2014San Diego Comic Con San Diego, CaliforniaGroup
2014Brandit-PopmartUniversity of North Texas, Denton TexasSolo
2014Status Factory Book Signing @ Desert Island Brooklyn
Location Desert Island, Brooklyn New York
2014Status Factory Book Launch, SigningToy Art Gallery in Los AngelesGroup
2014i-Art App Launch Event355 West Broadway / New York New YorkGroup
2014Richmond Mural Project 2014Richmond, VirginiaGroup
2014Art Truancy, Celebrating 20 Years of Juxtapoz Magazine
57C West 23rd Street & 529 West 20th Street ChealseaGroup
Corey Helford Gallery, United StatesGroup
2013POW! The very best of Urban ArtCannesGroup
2013Pop Up Street Art ShowBogstadveien 58, OsloGroup
2013The Varnish Vault - 2013 Holiday SeasonVarnish Fine Art, San FranciscoGroup
2013Designer CON 2013Pasadena Convention Center , PasadenaGroup
2013111 Minna Gallery’s 20th Anniversary: A Celebratory Group Art Exhibition111 Minna Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2012Ron EnglishGalerie Ariel Sibony, ParisSolo
2012Détournement: Signs of the Times Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2012Stay Foolish! Dorothy Circus Gallery, RomeGroup
2012Colin Christian & Ron English Opera Gallery, ParisGroup
2012Conjoined 2 in 3D; The Sequel Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2012Klimt IllustratedLazarides Rathbone Place, London Group
2012DUM ENGLISH - NYC Toy LaunchToy Tokyo, New YorkGroup
2012D.I.Z.N.I. Dysfunctional Irate Zany Neurotic IndividualsGraffik Gallery, London Group
2012New BloodThinkspace, Culver CityGroup
2012Conjoined II - The Seque Closing PartyCoproGallery, Santa MonicaGroup
2011The Varnish Vault Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2011The Emergence of the Pop Imagist Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011Private Collection Carnival Dorothy Circus Gallery, RomeGroup
2011Suggestivism Grand Central Art Center - California State University Fullerton, Santa Ana, CAGroup
2011Corey Helford Gallery: SCOPE Miami 2011SCOPE Miami, MiamiGroup
2011“Seasons In Supurbia”Corey Helford Gallery, Culver CitySolo
2011Baby Tattooville on ParadeRiverside Art Museum, RiversideGroup
2011Quick and PainfulCrewest Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2011Keep A BreastStrychnin Gallery, BerlinGroup
2011Skin Deep: Post-Instinctual Afterthoughts on Psychological PortraitureLazarides Rathbone Place, London Solo
2011Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum , New YorkGroup
2011Street 'N Low: Group Exhibition of Street and Low Brow ArtistsSANTA MONICA AUCTIONS , Santa MonicaGroup
2010Epic- Part One The Original Art Of Dogtown & Wes Humpston Ghettogloss, Silverlake, CAGroup
2010Pop Surrealism, What A Wonderfool World At Museo Carandente, Spoleto Dorothy Circus Gallery, RomeGroup
2010Draw: Mexico City Abarrotera Mexicana, GuadalajaraGroup
2010DRAW - Muestra de dibujo contemporáneo Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico CityGroup
2010Album V1 Gallery, CopenhagenGroup
2010Metamorphosis Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2010Street Smarts Affirmation Arts, New York City, NYGroup
2010Another Nude Show Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2010Five Year Anniversary Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Designer Con 2010Pasadena Convention Center, PasadenaGroup
2010RE:FORM SCHOOL pop up art exhibition233 Mott Street (at Prince) 10012 NYC , New York Group
2010California Kustom - Presented by Baby TattoovilleRiverside Art Museum , RiversideGroup
2010BLABWORLD No. 1 SHOW … scenes from THE HEREAFTERCoproGallery, Santa MonicaGroup
2010OutsideEclectix Gallery, El CerritoGroup
2010100 Artists See Satan Again: A FundraiserCal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Center, Santa AnaGroup
2010beinArt International Surreal Art Collective Group Exhibition "Metamorphosis"CoproGallery, Santa MonicaGroup
2010Last Gasp 40th Anniversary Art Show111 Minna Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2010Manifest Equality Gallery OpeningManifest Equality Gallery , Los AngelesGroup
2010Re:Creation - Serious Play with Canonical ArtCerritos College Art Gallery, NorwalkGroup
2009True Self Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Green Day Presents: The Art of Rock Curated By Logan Hicks Stolenspace Gallery, London (England)Group
2009Beach Blanket Bingo - A Summer Mixer Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Yes We Can Dorothy Circus Gallery, RomeGroup
2009Eminent Domain Awareness Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2009Rock, Paper, Scissor Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2009Blue Print For Space for Art Basel 2009Art Center / South Florida, Miami BeachGroup
2009Juxtapoz 15th Anniversary Benefit Art AuctionThe Factory Place Arts Complex , Los AngelesGroup
2009APOCALYPSE WOW!Macro - Museum of Contemporary Arts, RomeGroup
2009Beyond Eden New Contemporary Art FairLos Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park (LAMAG) , Los AngelesGroup
2009Scion's Installation 5 National Art TourScion Installation LA Gallery, Culver CityGroup
2009FUN Gallery/Patti AstorMelt Gallery , Los AngelesGroup
2009MONSTER?CoproGallery, Santa MonicaGroup
2009RON ENGLISH Solo ShowThe Don Gallery, Milan, ItalySolo
2009Scion's Installation 5 - Self PortraitAnno Domini, San JoseGroup
2009Scion Installation Five - Self: PortraitThe Showroom NYC , New YorkGroup
2009The End is Near!CPop Gallery, DetroitGroup
2009“Mythographic Vicissitudes”FIFTY24SF Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2008The Secret History of Kiss The Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2008Don't Wake Daddy III Galerie Feinkunst Krüger, HamburgGroup
2008Change America Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2008Blabshow! 2008 Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2008Next Gen - Art for the New Aeon Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2008In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2008Made in NY Opera Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
20085 Year Anniversary Show Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2008Locked & Loaded Joshua Liner Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2008Brad Benedict's Sideshow - Moods for Moderns Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2008Furore Dorothy Circus Gallery, RomeGroup
2008New WorksShooting Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2008Hollywood DCWorld of Wonder Storefront Gallery, HollywoodGroup
2008Music ShareHangar 1018, Los AngelesGroup
2008Scion Presents: Installation 5 Art Tour - DetroitCPop Gallery, DetroitGroup
2008MANIFEST HOPE MANIFEST HOPE GALLERY (Andenken Gallery), DenverGroup
2008Abraham Obama111 Minna Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2008Crimes On Canvas Group ExhibitionHardRock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV Group
2008Scion Presents Installation 4 - Los AngelesScion Installation LA Gallery , Culver CityGroup
2008Deep POPKenneth Chapman Gallery-Iona College, New RochelleGroup
2007Don't Wake Daddy II Galerie Feinkunst Krüger, HamburgGroup
2007Revelation Fuse Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007Installation Scion Art Tour 4 NYCThe Reed Space, New YorkGroup
2007Six String Masterpieces La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
200716th Annual Swap MeetJonathan LeVine Gallery- NYGroup
2007BIG PICTURE POPOpera Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2007Autres BizarreriesYves Laroche Galerie D'Art, Montreal, CanadaGroup
2007Don't Do ThatElms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, UKGroup
2007Next-Gen: Art for the New AeonCopro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA Group
2006"Draw" Tour Fuse Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2006Next Gen - Art for the New Aeon Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2006Power Pathos Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TXGroup
2006Nostradamus, Three waves to the Apocalypse Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2006Ron English - New Works Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2005Ron English Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, CASolo
2005Ron English, Mark Mothersbaugh & Daniel Johnston Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2005Pop Pluralism Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Superheroes of the SubversiveThe Escapist Artspace, Austin, TXGroup
2005Arte-vista GalleryBadhoevedorp, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2004Misfit Toys Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2004Premiere Party for the new McSupersized PortfolioMarcoart Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004Pretty Aint PrettyTin Man Alley, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2004UnknownOpera Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2003Krampus & Christmas  Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2003Ron English - A Solo Exhibition of New WorksRobert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2003Raising the BrowEarl McGrath Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2003Raising the BrowEarl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2003Morning WoodMinna Gallery, San Fransisco,CA Group
2002Player Haters  Merry Karnowsky Gallery - LA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
20028th Anniversary Art ShowJuxtapoz, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2002Ron English - New PaintingsMinna Gallery, San Fransisco, CASolo
2001Shepard Fairey & Ron English  Merry Karnowsky Gallery - LA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2001Playerhaters Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the PlayerMOCA DC, Washington, DCGroup
2001Post-Pop, Post-PunkMOCA DC, Washington DCGroup
2001UnknownOpera Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2000Ron English & Shepard Fairey - Obey Propaganda  Merry Karnowsky Gallery - LA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1999UnknownMassachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Boston, MAGroup
1998UnknownThe Alternative Museum, New York, NYGroup
1994UnknownMuseum of Contemporary Art, Washington, DCGroup
1991UnknownGallery Stendhal, New York, NYGroup
1989UnknownStockwell Gallery, New York, NYGroup