Our newest contributor from across the pond, travel writer and journalist Phoebe Lovatt, crashes the David Choe and Asa Akira podcast to discuss Choe’s painting (or a lack thereof), everyone’s favorite sexual positions, hate mail, and whatever Bobby Lee wants to talk about.
The latest solo show from iconic political pop surrealist (and one time The Hundreds collaborator), Ron English, recently wrapped at LA’s Corey Helford Gallery. Mr. English himself was kind enough to pencil in some face time to discuss some of the driving themes behind his latest exhibition, POPagandastan, a body of work based on a dystopian universe which is home to a Noah’s Arc-load of sinister and delusional species — a world of submissives and ringleaders that may or may not be but definitely are on drugs. When I asked him what it all meant, and whether his paintings are about a moral clash with corporate giants and the corruption of consumer culture, the following is what he told me. What ensues is a fascinating explanation set to the backdrop of his masterful artwork. Without further adieu, the mind Ron English:
“The chicken is “Poultry Rex.” I listen to NPR while I paint, and these scientists were saying they don’t think dinosaurs are extinct. They think the t-rex is the modern day chicken. They were looking at the DNA and it was the same. So it’s kind of like, they’ve evolved differently because they’ve been isolated. The rabbit’s back story is different – this guy was a clown and he was in a circus (this guy, he’s actually not in the show) but there’s an alien and he comes to Earth. He was a skinny alien when he came to Earth – he came to Earth kind of like the Twilight Zone episode, to serve man. So he comes to Earth to harvest people to his planet as sort of a gourmet food but then he sadly finds out that they’re all really skinny, and somehow they [aliens] were all deceived into thinking they were juicier, plumper.
But he finds this circus, but it’s a really ragtag circus – mostly this guy just has freaks. But he sees pictures of him [clown] all around town – he’s the clown on the poster – but he doesn’t understand what a circus is so he thinks he must be a leader, because he has posters all over. So he hooks up with him and he’s trying to get him to help him to harvest people and get them fatter. And of course, the clown has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s thinking he must be wanting to join the circus, and he’s got the big head, so he goes, ‘you can be the human fetus.’ So he’s kind of on display as the human fetus, but at the same time he’s like, ‘Okay, I’ve got to figure this out. I’ve got to make this work.’ And then he comes up with this idea. They go town to town and serve people, and then he goes, ‘What about the Fat Lady? How come she’s like that and everyone else is so skinny?’ And the clown goes, ‘Oh, she eats all this horrible stuff.’ Then he goes, ‘What horrible stuff?’ Then he puts together the salt and the fat, and he takes over a stand in the next town and serves up really fattening foods, like french fries. The townies love it.
Then he has this other idea: ‘Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take one of these townies and put them in charge of the stand, and we’ll move to the next town and have him still send us the money.’ And of course, MC is like, ‘Why are they going to send us the money.’ Well, why do people of America send money to the Catholic Church? Because we’re stupid. ‘If there’s anything I’ve learned from you guys it’s that you guys aren’t too bright.’ So they start setting up these little things but somebody steals his idea and becomes McDonalds. So he’s essentially the original McDonalds – but nobody cares about him and he lives underground and nobody wants to see freaks. And the reason that there’s so many freaks is because the alien thought, ‘Well, if we’re going to get eclipsed by McDonald’s, let’s make the freak show better.’
So he kind of genetically altered a lot of things and created all these freaks. But then people were like, ‘It’s not really PC for people to see these freaks.’ So nothing really worked out for these people. But they live in this world, and a lot of the wolves have come out of this world. The wolves used to be like this big thing on the planet, but now they’re kind of marginalized. They used to be able to eat all the rabbits, but now they can’t. So like all this stuff has kind of transpired at once so they built this underground world. He just bitches all the time about how he invented everything and the ideas got stolen by him. *Points at drawing* And that’s Paws, the son. He never talks, but everybody thinks he’s really brilliant. Like how when somebody never talks a lot of us think, ‘Wow, he must be really deep!’ And then the sheep are all Culties. *Points at drawing* So that’s the daughter of the main sheep; she’s called Fall. She’s fallen for the little wolf boy, that’s why she’s always wearing wolf clothes – to present herself as a wolf and impress the boy. But yeah, you can see how they’re all a weird hodgepodge of religion and stuff.”
Now I get it.
Introduction by Jane Helpern
Quotation by Ron English
Photography by Rick Rodney
Much like everything else around these digital parts, Video Daze will soon be getting a facelift of its own. While we continue giving some peeks from our soon-to-be-launched new format, we’d like to invite you to check out some of the radness going at VIDEO DAZE.
Things are changing here at thehundreds.com. Pretty soon, everything’s going to be one long stream of riveting information and original content without any of those sub-blogs you’ve come to love and follow but hate clicking away from the homepage to find. In the meantime, head on over to THE FEED to see what’s in store and new in stores, and check back next week for a brand spankin’ new format.
The next face of The Hundreds’ “Profiles” campaign is CRSL founder and friend Tal Cooperman. You probably recognize this handsome mug from literally years of being featured on our website in sleeveless shirts. Here he is repping the Phoenix from The Hundreds’ Winter 2013 eyewear collection.
Polka dots are for 50′s housewives and Abner Krill. Real men wear “Polka Bombs”. The Hundreds’ Winter 2013 collection continues the saga of the “Polka Bomb,” kicked off by the “Nettle” pocket T-shirt from Spring 2013, with new offerings available at our flagship locations and in the Online Shop.
In Los Angeles, there’s an unspoken rule that goes as follows: If Tommy B wasn’t there taking pictures, then it didn’t happen. And The Hundreds Ten Year Anniversary Party at Disneyland definitely happened. Tommy B was on site with his photobooth to capture fully-grown adults regressing into children. Here are a few of the magic moments captured by Tommy B — visit thetommyb.com for the full experience.
Bobby and Ben show us why it’s nicknamed the “The Happiest Place On Earth.” Photos and video from our 10-Year Anniversary Party at Disneyland coming soon. Infinite thanks to all who came out to experience the magic — here’s to the next decade!
Our friend Alyasha Owerka-Moore is an industry legend. In fact, he’s one of the few men Bobby Hundreds names as a mentor. As an early Streetwear pioneer, Alyasha’s had his gold-spinning hands in everything from Alphanumeric and Fiberops to the recently re-branded PF Flyers. Since we already know who he’s inspired (hint: everyone), in today’s TOP 5 he tells us about the players who’ve informed his career as a tastemaker and designer.