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 as returns with a recently finished painting Dear Diary. Read on below as we caught up with Ron Zakrin to chat about his latest RUN…
1xRun Thru Interview
Dear Diary 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 as you can see with this piece. I’ve also expanded it lately to include arcade games and vintage electronics.
1xRun: Nice, we hope to see some of that up on 1xRUN soon here, tell us a little bit about the original painting, how the idea and execution came about?
Ron Zakrin: It started as a figure study of my girlfriend, and it turned into a war between pink and blue. From there the piece evolved into a a good girl gone bad writing in her diary that she was done baking cupcakes. The original painting is acrylic on wood panel. There are probably 2-3 other paintings underneath it. I’m trying to not do that as much, but this one was painted over two other paintings.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Ron Zakrin: A couple of weeks from start to finish.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Ron Zakrin: I found a new white paint that I just love, it was a little bit thinner than the paint I had been using before and it allowed me to get the right texture and color on shag rug.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Ron Zakrin: Because it’s good. I wouldn’t have brought it up if I didn’t think it should make a print. They should only buy it if they like it, the work should speak for itself. I try to do work that stands on it’s own merit.
1xRun: Describe this print in one gut reaction word.
Ron Zakrin: Saturation.
1xRun: So when did you first start making art?What was your first piece?
Ron Zakrin: Long ago. My first real piece of art was when I took a hot knife to a transformer named Sunscream, and cut off his face. Then I cut the face off of a G.I. Joe doll named sabateur (sic) and glued the transformer face onto it’s head. It was perfect. I loved that doll. One day me and my nephew were skipping school and built a fort out of a refrigerator box behind an ABC Wharehouse, where we could see the idiots who actually went to school walking back home. So we were playing with our transformers and stuff and not looking out for peeps coming home from school. We were surprised by my (kind of) girlfriend and her sister and we tried to hide our dolls. My doll fell out of my coat and the girls laughed at us for still playing with dolls. My nephew picked up my masterpiece and threw it as far as he could, proclaiming: we don’t play with stupid dolls! I never found it. That was my first piece of art.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
Ron Zakrin: Very early on I was inspired by Bob Ross, 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: Syd Mead.
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 am always down to work with my friend Mark Heggie, because we go way back and get along. We had our first studio together back in the early mid 90’s and the energy was slamming. To get just a fraction of that energy would be reason enough. Other than that, I’m a bit of a loner, and I became an artist because I don’t like compromise. I was going to school to become a commercial artist but once I realized that I would have make big compromises to please the client I was like, fuck that.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Ron Zakrin: I would work with Basquiat, if I could go back to 1981. That era was EPIC! Painting in New York, punk is new, new wave is new, hip hop is new, painting is real again, yeah, I’d go back there if I had a time machine. Party and paint with Jean, punch Warhol in the face, challenge Julian Schnabel to a duel. Do a backspin and call it a day.
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: I have done a few trades with other artists over the years.
1xRun: What else do you have currently in the works?
Ron Zakrin: I’m in the upcoming G40 exhibit in D.C. put on by Art Whino in April. I am working on my next solo show at 323 East in May called Still Life with Drum Machine. The exhibit will showcase imagery inspired by and taken from my experiences and influences in the world of electronic music, dance culture, synthesizer worship and drum machine blow out.
-1xRun dot com