1xRUN Thru Interview
Assassin Nation by Ron Zakrin
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: This series is called Assassin Nation, and I’m really stoked about it. There are 18 original works of art depicting the lives of a group of assassins when they are not decimating foes. These are smaller originals that are part of a larger body of work, a few of these were started last year and lately I have really explored the subject. You may see prints in the very near future based on some of these images, as these are the foundation of the whole idea. I know that 1xrun is a destination primarily for prints, but these small works are easily shipped and are one of a kind. All of these were done with acrylics, some on wood panel and some on tar paper. Three of them were done with a new technique that I have developed where I paint on glass in layers, then lay a heavy final coat of paint and lay canvas down. when dry I peel the whole thing off of the glass, and the surface of the painting is smoother than a baby’s bottom.
1xRUN: What materials were used to create these pieces?
Ron Zakrin: These are all painted with acrylic paint on tar paper, but a few are on wood panel or masonite.
1xRun: When were these pieces created?
Ron Zakrin: These were painted in January and February.
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Ron Zakrin: These started out as studies for my large scale work, but as I was making them I felt that they deserved their own series, unlike the previous run where I mixed them with Apes and Angels.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Ron Zakrin: I came up with the idea long ago, but only last Summer when I started using tar paper did I begin to introduce the beer loving Assassin doing mundane, daily activities we all recognize. I have old sketchbooks with depressed ninjas at the bar, one of them getting a notice of divorce from his estranged wife. Years later, I thought damn, this needs to be flushed out! So now I have all of these back stories for individual assassins, like one tried to give up the violent life and becomes a plumber and gets married. In the end he misses the money, the excitement, the comradery. So he goes to The Assassin’s Den Bar and the old gang is still there. He rejoins the brotherhood, but now he is overweight and has a plumber’s crack. That’s just one of the back stories and I could go on and on.
1xRun: How long did these pieces take?
Ron Zakrin: Each piece is different, but generally a few hours each.
1xRun: What is unique about these pieces compared with your other work?
Ron Zakrin: Every piece is unique. What these share with the others is a social narrative, what sets them apart are several things- The tar paper, the “paint and peel” technique, gold paint, and though the subjects are chilling at the bar or whatever, all hell could break loose at any moment, so there is a bound up energy. In the science world they call it potential energy.
1xRun: Why should people buy one of these original paintings?
Ron Zakrin: Nobody should buy something they don’t like or want, and I don’t want to pander for a sale. They are affordable, and they are real paintings. If they make someone smile, that might be as good a reason as any to own one.
1xRun: Describe this series in one gut reaction word.
Ron Zakrin: Deadly
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: I like continuity, and when I find a motif or theme that suits my needs I tend to stay on it until I exhaust the possibilities. Folks should bear in mind that whether its apes or clones or assassins, these are only an avenue for expression, a commentary on human nature. Vessels.
1xRun: Aside from painting up a storm, what else have you been up to since your last exhibition Beauty & The Beats?
Ron Zakrin: All I do is paint and a little bit of composing.
1xRun: Anything on the horizon that you want to share?
Ron Zakrin: Yes! I have also developed what I think is an awesome technique for hand made prints that nobody else is doing, and 1xRUN will be the first to see it. Very soon.