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Christine Cox
Since 1999

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The Assemblage Constructions of Ron Stern
By Christine Cox

Ron Stern collects the stuff that most of us pass by and turns it into art. He is currently writing a novel about an artist and the things that he finds and uses.
'Self Portrait Holding A Box' represents the many aspects of life. The colors and shapes and textures surrounding us at all times and that magnetic pull of everything, all boxed up and labeled, with the meaning, which everyone must, or at least should, find out for themselves. Everything is in the same box,
the dividers are all artificial and we are weighed down with other peoples ideas. We all need to hold on
to our own box in order to see the others...
The 'Camera With Claws' represents the many comments I would hear from people who I had to photograph during my time as a professional photographer. I wish I had a nickel for every time someone would say, "Watch out, I don't want to break your camera!" and other such things. It was if there was a monster lurking inside waiting to grab ones soul and reveal all the deep dark secrets hidden deep inside. This is how many people view a camera pointed their way...
'The Soldier' represents all the bones and dead dreams of people fighting all the wars, for mostly the wrong and selfish reasons, of those who use us to die for their pocket books or over inflated egos. Its black because war is the lack of light. Its also the great contradiction of war, the best and worst of humankind, a tribute to all the poor brave souls who died for whatever reason, most of which were never known to them, they deserve our pity and out praise...
The 'Black Box With Hands' represents the old expression that the glass is either half full or half empty, according to one's view of life. The hands, in this case, are either coming out of the box or being sucked into it, either being born or dieing...
'The Worn Soul' represents the tired souls of human efforts to know the answer. The miles and miles of walking without knowing, but walking never the less, putting wholes in the souls of our shoes. And the answer was there all along, there never was any need to walk at all...
'The Monkey Wrench' represents the way we hang ourselves out on a limb for money, which is itself only an overpowering need for position and power in the barnyard, and we cut each other up and squeeze the life out of life because of that great need. We all miss so much, until it is too late...

Artist's Bio:

  • born in Baltimore, Maryland 1946 in a very Jewish neighborhood.
  • played baseball all the time and never thought about art
  • grew up until I was fourteen in a seemingly 'normal' home
  • parents split up
  • started to hang with the bad boys on the other side of the tracks
  • joined the Marines ten days after graduating high school, went to Vietnam in 1965-66
  • attended Brooks Institute of Photography in 1967, way too conservative for me
  • went to The Maryland Institute College of Art and started to think about art all the time
  • began to travel in search of life
  • got married, had kids, and they traveled with me
  • they got married and have kids of their own now, my four beautiful grandchildren and one on the way
  • still married to the same girl for over twenty-five years now and were still traveling, not so much to look for life, but rather to look at it...