Mel Ramos, ‘I STILL GET A THRILL WHEN I SEE BILL No. 1  (Homage to Willem de Kooning)’, 1979, Alpha 137 Gallery
Mel Ramos, ‘I STILL GET A THRILL WHEN I SEE BILL No. 1  (Homage to Willem de Kooning)’, 1979, Alpha 137 Gallery
Mel Ramos, ‘I STILL GET A THRILL WHEN I SEE BILL No. 1  (Homage to Willem de Kooning)’, 1979, Alpha 137 Gallery

This striking and clever work was created in the late 1970s by American Pop artist Mel Ramos, as an homage to Willem de Kooning. Pop artists like Mel Ramos, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist rebelled against their Abstract Expressionist forebears whose work dominated the art scene of the 1950s and 1960s. Instead, they offered works inspired by popular culture, billboards advertisements, celebrity icons and commercialism, mass media, comic book heroes and movie stars, many with radical figuration. To acknowledge this dialogue, and assert the fact that art can be about anything, including art, Ramos cleverly tips his hat to one of the most influential Abstract Expressionists. In I Still Get a Thrill When I See Bill, one of Ramos' gorgeous pin-ups is juxtaposed against a woman's body done in the style of de Kooning, a thrill for the artist and viewer alike. This impression is in excellent condition and has never been framed.

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Signature: Signed and numbered in pencil on the recto (front)

About Mel Ramos

Mel Ramos’s provocative, humorous paintings mix idealized nude women with the imagery of popular culture—Coca Cola bottles, movie posters, and the like. A prolific artist from his emergence in the 1960s onward, Ramos has often based his nudes on the female celebrities of the day, from Marilyn Monroe to Scarlett Johansson. His style references the sensuality and glossy flatness of pin-ups and Playboy spreads and has drawn the ire of feminists and art critics alike, despite Ramos’s assertion that his works are “apolitical”. Though clearly aligned with Pop art in his appropriation of imagery from mass media and consumer products, Ramos calls his practice rooted in Surrealism and its emphasis on “absurd conjunctions”—in his case, a beautiful nude woman emerging from a Snickers wrapper or lounging seductively in a banana split.

American, b. 1935, Sacramento, California, based in Oakland, California

Exhibition Highlights

2016
New York,
The Lost Paintings of 1962: A Look Back at POP!
2014
Nuremberg,
MEL RAMOS VINTAGE PORTFOLIO - Gunter Sachs
2014
San Francisco,
GALLERY SELECTIONS

Solo Shows

2016
New York,
The Lost Paintings of 1962: A Look Back at POP!
2014
Nuremberg,
MEL RAMOS VINTAGE PORTFOLIO - Gunter Sachs
2014
San Francisco,
GALLERY SELECTIONS

Group Shows

2017
Gregorio Escalante Gallery, 
Los Angeles,
THE POWER OF POP
2016
2016
Santa Fe,
Magnolia Editions | Innovation & Collaboration
View Artist's CV