Ron Isaacs, American (1941-)

Ron Isaacs was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1941. He received a Bachelors of Fine Art at Berea College and went on to earn a Masters of Fine Art in painting at Indiana University. He taught painting and drawing at Eastern Kentucky University for more than 30 years, and over time, developed his unique fusion of painting sculpture. Isaacs has had numerous solo exhibitions nationwide and has work in many museum permanent collections as well as private and corporate collections.

Artist Statement: “I could use real objects to make assemblages, installations, or collages, but that’s too direct. My basic technique of building elaborate relief constructions of Finnish birch plywood and painting them in trompe l’oeil fashion has its own deep satisfactions of process and problem- solving, but it also serves as a means to understanding the objects. Trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”) could be a gimmick to show off technical skills – a fairly shallow if entertaining enterprise – but for me it’s a way of expressing my love of the visual world. I would hope that whatever technical skill I have might be seen as being in the service of my personal vision and not as an end in itself.
That an object made of one material can take on the outward appearance and “reality” of another is of great importance to me– and perhaps part of the reason that historically, making art became allied with making magic.

My three primary recurring subjects are vintage clothing (for the way it continues the life of the past into the present, for its rich structures and colors and shapes and for its anthropomorphic presence as a stand-in for the figure); plant materials in the form of sticks, leaves, and flowers (for too many reasons to list); and found objects. They combine in appropriate or surprising juxtapositions, sometimes purely as a visual “poem” of sorts and (if I’m lucky) sometimes as an image with real psychological resonance. Objects occasionally reappear in other contexts and take on new meanings, like a repertory company of actors playing different roles in different plays.”