Ronald Sloan has been obsessively painting his private world for over thirty years. An examination
of this almost intact, and vast body of work, exposes an alternate reality painted in a masterful
and unique style. It has remained so consistent, that only dating next to his signature reveals
whether the work is early or recent. The human figure, deconstructed and then reconstructed into
skeletal form, often exists in a world of fear, pain, trauma and sexual abuse. Geometric figures--
grids, boxes, far off center lines, and numbers appear hand in hand with quasi human figures
struggling to make sense of an unsettling world. The disturbing themes share the canvas with
recurring symbols of comfort. The mathematical elements, along with tropical vegetation, and an
extraordinary talent for laying down paint in a seductive manner give you a reprieve, allowing you
to catch your breath, and gather courage to look once more.
Each painting is a mini drama, audience not required. Ronald Sloan paints his world to survive yet
one more day in it. On the canvas, survival often depends upon being both mute and deaf. Mother is
portrayed with her mouth covered, unable to speak out about the untenable life she leads. In one
painting, words warn, "Do not HEAR the Forest Burning." The inclusion of explanatory text offers
precious access to this curious reality. In response to questions about the nature or purpose of
his work, Ronald simply states, "I paint."
Minutia as well as trauma trigger the paintings: a glass of spilled milk, a visit from friends,
his pigeons, a butterfly. Ronald works in a small space surrounded by dozens of religious icons,
including crosses and Mexican "Day of the Dead" materials, rift with skeletal references. At each
day's close, another painting sits completed.
Collectors, curators, and dealers are quietly adding Ronald's powerful works to their holdings and
a thirty--five year retrospective is being discussed by a New England museum.
In addition to his works in paint, daybooks done in black ink, with surprising touches of cynical
humor and color are also available.