American, born, 1938, Youngstown, Ohio;
Lives Poland, Ohio
“Sometimes you walk along and find the story of someone’s life sitting right in front of you,” says Ron Barron, who creates artworks out of trash that he finds littering the streets of New York City. He mails his finds home to Ohio, where he arranges them on a scanner in his studio to make large-scale prints. Snacks – Washington Heights appears in the series TrashScans: Street Archaeology, a collection of 125 digital scanned collages of urban artifacts from gutters, sidewalks and parks of Manhattan. Culled from over 90 different locations, each place is unique in many ways, yet has certain items common to almost all. Using trash as a readymade, Barron selects each piece to not only create something beautiful out of the variety of shapes, colors and textures, but also aiming to express the cynicism of throwaway culture. By holding up a mirror to consumerism the artist reflects both its material emptiness and beauty.
After receiving a BFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University in 1959, Barron’s art was sidelined as he went on to became a professional dancer, a school teacher, a television director, a public television executive, an inner-city public school administrator, a personal manager in the music business in Los Angeles, a record producer, a concert producer in Manhattan, and finally, a full-time artist in 2009. His work has been exhibited at the Butler Institute of American Art, the Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland and several galleries in New York. He is represented by the Bonfoey Gallery.