Ron English paints many versions of Guernica.
In light of Picasso’s masterpiece, the famous street artist, Ron English, accepts Guernica as the emblem for crushing and needless terror war brings, but he selects a different standpoint.
English’s perception of the painting is that it transforms the horrors, which are overpowering and hard to watch, into a two-dimensional pictorial narrative, making it easier for the empathetic viewer to digest. It’s a cartoon, a ‘picture’ of a tragedy, not the tragedy itself. Guernica therefore represents a natural defense system that pushes us into distancing ourselves from the dismay.
It’s simple enough to understand, but impersonal enough to calmly apprehend. Tackling the theme of Guernica from this viewpoint, Ron English conjured a vast series of pop paintings, telling the horror story of our age, in a way.
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
25 “Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.