Humorism Gallery

Lunch at Vincent's by Ron Marlett

My German Expressionist Date by Ron Marlett.

My Tahitian Selfie by Ron Marlett.

 The humoristic paintings of Ron Marlett began with his 15th annual attempt at playing the McDonald's Monopoly game back in the fall of 2002. After peeling away all the loosing game pieces from his Big Mac and large French fries containers, and devouring his Big Mac meal for the second time that day, he sat in his car fantasizing about how he would manage the millions of dollars he would win if he was the one who got the winning game piece. Then it occured to him that other artists were probably wishing for the same thing so that they could have some financial relief to their starving artists' incomes. Ron began to imagine that if fast food franchises existed in the 19th century and they offered the monopoly games to their customers, artists who lived on very small budgets would probably patronize the restaurants in hopes of winning the games and receiving financial aid. Ron expanded on his concept of famous artists eating fast food with the idea that he too was living with them and eating the same food. Ron rushed home and started working on a 36 x 48 sketch that showed him eating lunch with Gauguin and Van Gogh in Aries, France.

 Ron's painting Lunch at Vincent's was completed in February of 2003. The painting was to be the first of several paintings that were to be illustrations of his diary done in Van Gogh's painting style. His diary entry was written in the upper right side of the painting and reads, "Things were going really well until I was the one who got the winning game piece - Ron Marlett" Each painting would show Ron in a Van Gogh painting interacting with the subject matter and portraying himself as an awkward comical side kick to Van Gogh and Gauguin. As the years past and Ron's commission paintings filled his calendar, Ron put the diary paintings on hold until 2013 when he took an interest in looking at famous paintings on the internet. Whenever he saw a painting he liked, he projected himself into the painting and interacting with the painting's subject matter. This started him thinking again about painting himself into famous paintings. The idea of producing a pictorial diary was dropped and he began to expand on his idea of himself interacting with the painting's subject matter and the subject matter respounding to Ron's invasion of the sublect matter's private two-dimensional space.



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Detail from a Vermeer painting.
Detail from Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid by Johannes Vermeer


Girl Writing a Letter
By William Carpenter

January 14, 2006

A thief drives to a museum in his black van. The night watchman says Sorry, closed, you have to come back tomorrow. The thief sticks the point of his knife in the guard's ear. I haven't got all evening, he says, I need some art.  Art is for pleasure, the guard says, not for possession, you can't something, and then the duct tape is going across his mouth. Don't worry, the thief says, we're both on the same side. He finds the Dutch Masters and goes right for a Vermeer: "Girl Writing a letter." The thief knows what he's doing. He has a Ph. D. He slices the canvas on one edge from the shelf holding the salad bowls right down to the square of sunlight on the black and white checked floor. The girl doesn't hear this, she's too absorbed in writing her letter, she doesn't notice him until too late. He's in the picture. He's already seated at the harpsichord. He's playing the G Minor Sonata by Domenico Scarlatti, which once made her heart beat till it passed the harpsichord and raced ahead and waited for the music to catch up. She worked on this letter for three hundred and twenty years. Now a man's here, and though he's dressed in some weird clothes, he's playing the harpsichord for her, for her alone, there's no one else alive in the museum.  The man she was writing to is dead - time to stop thing about him - the artist who painted her is dead. She should be dead herself, only she has an ear for music and a heart that's running up the staircase of the Gardener Muesum with a man she's only known for a few minutes, but it's true, it feels like her whole life. So when the thief hands her the knief and says you slice the paintings out of their frames, you roll them up, she does it; when he says you put another strip of duct tape over te guard's mouth so he'll stop talking about aesthetics, she tapes him, and when the thief puts her behing the wheel and says, drive, baby, the night is ours, it is the Girl Writing a Letter who steers the black van on to the westbound ramp for Storrow Drive and then to the Mass Pike, it's the Girl Writing a Letter who drives eighty miles an hour headed west into a country that's not even discovered yet, with a known criminal, a van full of old masters and nowhere to go but down, but for the Girl Writing a Letter these things don't matter, she's got a beer in her free hand, she's on the road, she's real and she's in love.