POPaganda: The Art and Subversion of Ron English




08:24 min
Portrait
Director: Pedro Carvajal
Producer: Pedro Carvajal

Winner of the Media Literacy Award

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More About POPaganda: The Art & Subversion of Ron English

Ron English first gained fame in 1982 by surreptitiously reworking billboards to critique American society, risking arrest in the process. His career has had a wide trajectory, incorporating neo-surrealist paintings, staged photographs, street art, and music and he has become one of the most famed culture jammers in the world. Culture jamming or subvertising is the practice of altering advertising images to challenge and criticize corporations and media.

Carvajal was first drawn to the culture-jamming network as a filmmaker, documenting the works of Ron English and ArtFux, a culture-jamming network that was active from 1989-1992. Inspired by the movement, Pedro moved from observer to participant and began defacing tobacco and alcohol ads in New York City to protest the industries’ attempts to allure young people.

Carvajal made POPaganda to bring Ron English’s anti-consumerist critiques to audiences all around the country. He hopes the films will broaden the culture-jamming network. To this day, English has created over 1,000 illicit billboards and signs and he is recognized as one of the leaders of the subvertising movement. Pedro continues to document the work of Ron and other culture-jammers.

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