1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this latest series of original work that you created for 1xRUN collectors, how many pieces are there?
Ron Zakrin: The series of original artwork has 34 pieces available. These were each started on glass as a monotype, but using a technique I developed, were then transferred to canvas. Some are on linen, some on canvas, and some are on what I like to call Zakrinite. It’s a compound of space age polymers and fibrous material.
1xRun: When were these pieces created?
Ron Zakrin: All of these were painted between December 2014 and March 2015. So about 3 months to finish everything.
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Ron Zakrin: After a good deal of trial and error, I got to a point with my paint and peel technique where I could use colors and layers while maintaining a nice flat surface. These are the fruits of my labor, maybe from one branch, you could say. Most are not mounted or framed, but are on loose canvas or linen, hence the name of the series: apes on the Loose.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Ron Zakrin: The idea to paint ape portraits isn’t new, I’ve been doing that intermittently for the last fifteen years. What got me motivated to come back to the apes was the documentary film, Virunga. The film highlights the perils that the Virunga National Park in The Democratic Republic of Congo, faces. From illegal poaching to the threat of big oil, the park is home to the last 800 mountain gorillas in the wild. If I’m painting apes anyway, I might as well use the series to help raise awareness about something I feel is important, and also to get some funds to the park. I will be donating a portion of the sales directly to The Virunga National Park.
1xRun: How long did these pieces take?
Ron Zakrin: Some of these take two or three hours, if I leave them be once peeled away from the glass. If I’m not satisfied, I will work on them the old fashioned way, and they take around a day.
1xRun: What is unique about these pieces compared with your other work?
Ron Zakrin: The process of painting on glass and then slapping canvas or linen onto it, and then peeling it off is unlike my traditional paintings. I haven’t seen anything quite like it, so I’m still rather excited about it.
1xRun: Why should people buy one of these original paintings?
Ron Zakrin: Those who like to see an idea sprout and then bloom through experiment and execution ought to appreciate this series. I also have decided to donate a portion of my share of the sales from this series to The Viunga National Park, the oldest national park in Africa. So on top of getting an ape portrait to enjoy, collectors will also be helping to preserve one of the most amazing places on Earth, and home to the last eight hundred Mountain Gorillas.
1xRun: Describe this series in one gut reaction word.
Ron Zakrin: Humane.
1xRun: There seem to be a few themes that reoccur in your work, monkeys, angels/wings and ninjas are a few, tell us a little bit about some of these themes and maybe why they tend to be subjects of your pieces?
Ron Zakrin: When I paint a portrait of an ape, I feel like I’m really painting the likeness of man. Like, we think we’re so distant or separate from nature, but the basic instincts of survival that direct a course of action for an ape or turtle are the same motivating factors that fuel our ambitions. We want to eat, have territory, have the right to mate and plant our seeds. We are still guided by the basic principles of survival.
1xRun: Aside from painting up a storm, what else have you been up to since your last exhibition Beauty & The Beats?
Ron Zakrin: Reasearch and development. I suffer from a detrimental affliction called curiosity. As time consuming as pursuing an idea out of sheer curiosity can be, it does have the benefit of removing the threat of being a one trick pony, a curse that any self respecting creative person should avoid.
Location: Detroit, MI
Find out more @ http://www.ronzakrin.com