Mel Ramos was born in 1935 in Sacramento, California and is celebrated as one of the key figures in Pop Art. He studied Fine Art at Sacramento State College from 1957-1958 under his teacher Wayne Theibaud, who later inspired him to adopt the style and subject matter of Pop. Along with his peers Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, Ramos was among the first artists to incorporate pop culture and comic book imagery into his work.
Ramos first gained recognition in the early 1960s for his witty, provocative paintings that combined idealised images of the female nude with objects from popular culture. His subject matter is often based on contemporary female celebrity pin-ups ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Cameron Diaz, exploring and making visual comments on the commercial use of the female body. The flat, glossy style of his paintings refers to print advertisements, the purveyors of consumerism.
Ramos’ work can be found in public collections worldwide most notably in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Guggenheim Museum, New York and the MoMA, New York, as well as the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria. In 2012, he had a retrospective at the Crocker Art Museum Sacramento.
Ramos currently lives and works between Oakland, USA and Horta de San Juan, Spain.