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  • Provenance

    Galleria Pasquale Trisorio, Naples

  • Literature

    D. Kuspit and L. K. Meisel, Mel Ramos Pop Art Fantasies : The Complete Paintings, New York, 2004, p. 146 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Mel Ramos is best-known for his paintings of nude women, pulled from
    pages of pin-ups and depicted with ketchup bottles, cigars and other
    commercial products which are easily read as phallic objects. His
    paintings represent a collective fantasy reflected through art history
    and mass media.The nudes themselves are Playboy Magazine meets
    Madame Tussauds; seductive and erotic with a certain Surrealistic and
    overly-perfect appeal.

    “Ramos renders the glamour girl in all her physical, theatrical beauty and at
    the same time subverts her glamour by pairing it with a consumer product
    that has its own peculiar seductiveness, theatricality, and transcendence.
    Ramos in effect reverses the classical priorities: the female nude becomes
    the attribute of the consumer product, symbolizing its power and ‘Sex’
    appeal while it continues to symbolize her consumability.” (D. Kuspuit, Mel
    Ramos: Pop Art Fantasies, The Complete Paintings, NewYork 2004, p. 17)

    In addition to the nudes depicted with commercial objects Mel Ramos
    completed an extensive series of works which incorporated images of nude
    women interacting with wild animals. These paintings allude to the age-old
    myth of beauty and the beast; a myth which has been depicted in painted
    form since ancient times. In Gnu, 1973, the nude brunette straddles a
    wildebeest while both she and the animal glance back at the viewer in a
    manner which might suggest the viewer’s gaze is not entirely welcome. We
    have stumbled across a scene where beauty has once again tamed the wild
    beast. “Combining his lovely ladies with jungle animals could be rather
    grotesque and disturbing; however, with Ramos’s vast sense of humor it
    brings nothing but smiles. Despite how big and dangerous the beasts may
    be in life, in Ramos’ hands they are nothing more than cuddly bears, and
    some say they are the artist’s depiction of himself.” (D. Kuspuit, Mel Ramos:
    Pop Art Fantasies, The Complete Paintings, NewYork 2004, p. 126)

  • Artist Biography

    Mel Ramos

    American • 1935

    Mel Ramos is an American Pop artist best known for his paintings of female nudes alongside brand logos. His depictions of women with everyday products celebrate aspects of popular culture represented in mass media and advertising. Like his contemporaries Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, Ramos was inspired by comic books and grew up drawing cartoons and characters from their pages. The artist's works, including paintings, prints and works on paper, feature in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among others.

    View More Works

189

Gnu

1973
Oil on canvas.
40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm).
Signed and dated “Mel ramos 73” on the reverse.

Estimate
$400,000 - 600,000 

Contemporary Art Part II

18 May 2007
10am & 2pm New York