Melvin John Ramos (July 24, 1935 – October 14, 2018) was an American figurative painter, specializing most often in paintings of female nudes, whose work incorporates elements of realist and abstract art.
Born in Sacramento, California, to a first generation Portuguese-Azorean immigrant family, Mel Ramos gained his popularity as part of the pop art movement of the 1960s. Ramos is “best known for his paintings of superheroes and voluptuous female nudes emerging from cornstalks or Chiquita bananas, popping up from candy wrappers or lounging in martini glasses”. He was also a university art professor.
Mel Ramos received his first important recognition in the early 1960s; since 1959 he has participated in more than 120 group shows. Along with Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, he was one of the first artists to do paintings of images from comic books, and works of the three were exhibited together at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1963.
In 2009, Mel Ramos was part of the first Portuguese American bilingual art book and exhibit in California “Ashes to Life a Portuguese American Story in Art” with fellow artists Nathan Oliveira, John Mattos and João de Brito.
A major exhibition of his work was held at the Albertina in Vienna in 2011.
A retrospective of over 50 years of his work opened at the Crocker Art Museum in his hometown of Sacramento on June 2, 2012. This show is “the first major exhibition of his work in his hometown”, and his first American retrospective in 35 years.
Mel Ramos artworks
Screen printing on paper inside a black paper container
Signed and numbered by Mel Ramos