Ron Zakrin was actually one of the first 10 artists to be featured here on the wild world of 1xRun.com, his first Run was in fact #10, a 15.75 x 20 giclée “The Creeps”, and was only an edition of 28. For his next RUN, Ron returned with a series of hand-painted mixed media paint cans cthat provide a swirling narrative as the viewer turns them. Each one is meticulously crafted and a true one of a kind, just the way we like it here on 1xRun.com! Next Ron brought us a series of original paintings and accompanying limited edition prints for his Still Life With Drum Machine series. For his latest piece Ron continues with the energy from Still Life Drum machine but the focus has shifted to video games as he returns with The Hero Returns On The Eve Of The Apocalypse…
1xRun Thru Interview
The Hero Returns On The Eve Of The Apocalypse by Ron Zakrin
1xRun: What have you been up to since we last talked to you with your about your Still Life Drum Machine pieces?
Ron Zakrin: I’m still continuing to work on pieces in that series with girls and synthesizers, but as of late I have been focusing on women’s figures. I’ve also expanded it lately to include arcade games and vintage electronics as you can see with this piece. For this piece, I was initially going to have the girl playing a synthesizer, but it became clear that an arcade machine from my youth would be a perfect fit.
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about the original painting, how did the idea and execution came about?
Ron Zakrin: Well, I was working on the piece, like I said, she was originally playing a Moog Voyager synthesizer. But sometimes I get tired of painting all of those knobs and tedious details that make a synth so goddam sweet. Fun to play a synth, hell to paint. The arcade cabinet solved this problem, without altering the dynamic I was going for. I put the cigarette in the girls mouth as a nod to all of my arcade heroes from back in the 80’s, most of whom were 9th degree burnouts who swore at the machine and would smoke while chasing that high score so that they could write something dirty on the top board.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Ron Zakrin: Everything!
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Ron Zakrin: Well, I like it. The original is already sold, and although a print is never as good as the real deal, I recently saw the proofs, and they look great. So if you are into vintage arcade games or like Geishas Gone Wild, this could be for you.
1xRun: Describe this print in one gut reaction word.
Ron Zakrin: Smokin’.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
Ron Zakrin: Very early on I was inspired by H.R.Geiger, Bob Ross, Diego Rivera, then later by Comic book artists like Marc Silvestri and Dan Green, Tex, Frank Miller. Then when I started to get into the local scene I was all about a Detroit painter named Robert Berry. Also Tyree Guyton for sure, that man made everything else look small.
1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
Ron Zakrin: I’m into Antony Gormley right now.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Ron Zakrin: I listen to a lot of chiptunes, I have like 45,000 jams on my phone thanks to the High Voltage Sid Collection, a database of all music made on the Commodore 64. I like krautrock, classic Detroit electro, proto techno, Roxy Music. Also I listen to a lot of public radio to satisfy my unquenchable thirst for information. *Click below for tunes from Ron’s musical alter ego Goudran and video of Ze Dark Park.
Ron Zakrin: I wouldn’t mind do something with Matt Eaton. Could turn out well. I would want to work with Andy Warhol, so that I could make him cry.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Ron Zakrin: A self portrait of my mentor, George Hriczick. It was actually a nuclear scan of his head, so it’s basically a picture of his skull. He died of cancer a few years after that scan was made, and I don’t like seeing it, so it’s in a box now. If it wasn’t for George, I might not be doing what I’m doing today.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Ron Zakrin: A screen print/ painting on metal by Bethany Shorb. It’s of a glitched out plane landing on a runway.
1xRun: What else do you have currently in the works?
Ron Zakrin: I’m working on a piece for the Movement festival, and a bunch of new works for a related exhibit at the new 323East gallery in Detroit in May.
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