” One should be aware that corporate speech and free speech are two completely different things … You can use a copyrighted character or brand logo to engage in social commentary. No one has ever won a lawsuit against me … Mickey Mouse is my Jesus Christ, Marilyn ( Monroe ) my Mary Magdalene and Ronald McDonald my Buddha” ( Ron English )
Abject Expressionism and Popaganda are two buzz words used to categorize yet not entirely define the art of Ron English. He has developed a unique persona as an artist who has infiltrated and satirized modern culture through the medium of pirated billboards. These illegal public art campaigns are used against the corporations they are meant to serve. The style of Warholesque pop art mixed with Picasso surrealism has created a unique style of work which has many parts to it which go beyond the assault and appropriation of copyright to weave his narrative. Ultimately, English succeeds in undermining the semiotics of consumption.The humour is based on the discovery of the contradiction in the message by breaking the pattern of ”consensus” that the marketer strived to create. Though English himself has been ”branded” as a logo of the protest industry, he is an authentic torchbearer in a long tradition going back to Rabelais, Alfred Jarry and the best of the Dadaist esprit. All of the above, in addition to the non-conforming dissent of the English Ranters.
”I start with the simple idea that advertising is theft… In fauxvertising, an existing message is creatively falsified to reach a higher truth or deeper meaning. It takes an unacceptable sales pitch and turns it into a provocative statement. In stead of harnessing human desire to sell something one may or may not need, the idea is to identify what is really at stake, subvert the ad and jumpstart discussion about issues that concern all of us. Which is the last thing advertisers want us to do, have a debate of foster discussion.” ( D.S. Black, Billboard Liberation Front )