Though primarily a figurative painter, Mel Ramos (1935-2018) has experimented freely with realist and abstract art forms for the past twenty years. A few of his works embody both formats. This combination works to enhance the detail and feature of each format while detracting from the duality of the image making it wholly singular. Born in Sacramento, California in 1935 he has enjoyed great success and critical acclaim as an adventuresome artist with the creativity and sense of humor it takes to remain on top.
Mel Ramos is one of the artists in the Pop Art movement. Mel Ramos received his first important recognition in the early 1960s; since 1959 he has participated in more than 120 group shows. Along with other artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and James Rosenquist, Mel Ramos produced art works that celebrated aspects of popular culture as represented in mass media. His paintings were shown along with theirs in major exhibitions of Pop Art both in this country and in Europe and were reproduced, often with irony, in books, catalogs, and periodicals throughout the world.
Classification of Mel Ramos within a school of art is disputed. Some critical observers of the “art scene” classify Mel Ramos as a Pop Artist. However, others believe identification of Mel Ramos’ work within the Pop movement of the 1960s implies a satirical or parodic bent which does not reflect the broader context of his paintings, and instead defend his “parodies” as respectful, affectionate tributes, a celebration of images with personal meaning.