Mel Ramos (American, 1935-2018) Born on July 24, 1935 in Sacramento, CA, Ramos like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, found inspiration through the comic books Wonder Woman and Superman growing up and later pinup posters. He went on to study art under Wayne Thiebaud at Sacramento State College where he earned both his BA and MA degrees. In 2011, Ramos was the subject of a major show at the Albertina in Vienna. He currently lives and works between Oakland, CA and Horta de San Juan, Spain. Mel Ramos is an internationally known Pop artist often painting images of voluptuous nudes and superheroes. Many of his works are satirical tributes to paintings in art history or demonstrate the sexualization of advertising. Often, Ramos will draw a general nude figure only to substitute a specific face, often taken from a photograph. 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. His works are part of the collections at 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, Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Smithsonian Art Museum in Washington, D.C. among others. Ramos died on October 14, 2018 in Oakland, California.