Medium

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.

High auction record
£1.1m, Sotheby's, 2012
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2021
Mel Ramos, A Pop Icon, the 1970's and Beyond, A Print SurveyDavid Lawrence Gallery
2019
Mel RAMOS: Memorial ExhibitionModernism Inc.
2018
In Memory of Mel RamosGalerie Ernst Hilger
View all

Playboy Project #4, 1975

Pencil on paper
17 7/8 × 13 in
45.4 × 33 cm
Contact For Price
Location
San Francisco
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Medium

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.

High auction record
£1.1m, Sotheby's, 2012
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from Modernism Inc.
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