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Rodger Kingston

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Rodger Kingston's images are visual poems celebrating American icons with a mastery of color that is bracing. He has been recognized as being among the best of a new generation of photographers for whom color is the natural medium rather than the traditional black and white of the masters. Kingston describes the world around us with a passion for the significant, yet anonymous detail. He has always photographed with intense color closely related to that of the Pop artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, and their predecessor, Stuart Davis, who continues to be one of Kingston's strongest influences.

Admiring Pop Art's flamboyant humor, Kingston has commented, ?It's wonderful how Pop questions almost everything we've always taken for granted about art: it's uniqueness, its commercial value, its dignity, and high seriousness. Pop Art takes it's subject matter from the most universal aspects of popular culture - advertisements, celebrities, comics, current events, and everyday [email protected] So, for Kingston, Pop Art is to be hailed for transforming mundane visual aspects of our surroundings into ironic elegance, and he photographs with that same eye. He finds objects-whether disfigured posters or common buildings-that appear beautiful to him, and does not avoid the word [email protected] For Kingston, beauty can found in the way an appropriated image resonates within its setting.

Finding the poster image is only the beginning of an adventure into an aesthetic journey for Kingston. When he found a velvet portrait of Marilyn Monroe draped over a chain link fence in Washington, D.C., he created his celebrity series that eventually became known as ?American [email protected] including images of Marilyn, Mao, James Dean, Charlie Chaplin, Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan, and ironically, Andy Warhol himself.