Vail Film Fest features ‘Art and Crimes of Ron English’ |

Vail Film Fest features ‘Art and Crimes of Ron English’

Daily Staff Writer

VAIL – The Vail Film Institute (VFI) presents Pedro Carvaja’s documentary “The Art and Crimes of Ron English” during the second annual Vail Film Festival March 31- April 3.Bombarded by relentless advertising in a growing culture of junk, one man – activist/artist Ron English – dares to hijack corporate advertising in Carvaja’s documentary “The Art and Crimes of Ron English,” challenging us to change the sham of reality they’ve created and reminding us that free speech still lives. Bringing his messages to the masses through billboards and other forms of outdoor marketing, English takes traditional advertising hostage, subverting familiar images and words into confrontational art. Whether attacking a popular fast food chain with a manipulated image of its popular icon emblazed with the words “Phat Food,” or taking on a tobacco giant and simply covering their logo with the word “breathe,” English implores us to re-evaluate what we see and succumb to it no more.Infused with English’s infectious passion, “The Art and Crimes of Ron English” is a ride into the life and art of the “billboard bandit” that intends to inspire and activate.You can watch a trailer at has made documentaries on East Village squatters, the Yanomami and an award-winning film on AIDS patient Karen Sofield. His videos “Citizen Art” and “Subvertising” focus on culture jamming in public spaces, particularly billboard liberation, in which an outdoor ad is altered to critique the original company or product, or deliver a public service message.English – aka POPagandist, billboard bandit, post-pop pundit, post-punk prankster, counter-cultural cartoonist, subvertising executive, culture jammer – first gained fame in 1982 by surreptitiously reworking billboards to critique American society, risking arrest in the process. English’s career has had a wide trajectory, incorporating neo-surrealist paintings, staged photographs, street art and music.To purchase passes for the Vail Film Festival, call 333-9689.Vail, Colorado

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