As a major artistic community in Southern California, Venice is home to many a palette and brush. However, no one artist is more recognizable than muralist Rip Cronk. If you aren. t familiar with his work, just look around town and you. ll be sure to spot a Cronk masterpiece. His work has played such an important role in the rebirth of Venice culture that without his vision, Venice would be missing a vital part of it. s character.
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After graduating with Masters Degree in Fine Art from the University of New Mexico, Rip Cronk moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he opened a studio at The Foundry. He completed six murals on Oahu and established himself as a world class muralist before relocating to Los Angeles in 1979. He secured a position as a muralist-in-residence for the Social and Public Art Resource Center (S.P.A.R.C.) where he completed his first California mural, Venice on the Half Shell. Painted on panels, it was installed as the frontal piece of the Venice Pavilion. It was refurbished and returned to the S.P.A.R.C. offices before commencing on his most famous piece, Venice Reconstituted in 1989. Both works are parodies of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. In the next year and a half, Cronk Painted nine additional murals along the boardwalk.
In 1991, Rip moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where he once again became an integral part of the cultural landscape. He completed eight murals in four years before returning to southern California.
While best known for bringing fine art into the public forum, Rip is an accomplished studio artist. His portfolio combines elements of graffiti and cartoon art in the gallery environment. Rip sees the end of the century as a critical juncture in Western history and time for change in the ideology controlling the art industry. He has recently completed a collection of essays that redefines the role of culture in post-modern society.
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