Kinetic artist Ron Agam talks about his inspiration and his creative process in this stirring short documentary video "Living Among Lines."
From a young age, Ron Agam, the son of world-renowned artist Yaacov Agam, has been inspired by art.
After a successful career as an acclaimed fine art photographer, Ron has gone through an artistic rebirth and is following in his father’s footsteps to create his own mesmerizing kinetic art. Ron’s art inhabits the kinetic art movement, yet retains its own distinct vocabulary and energy.
Ron’s photography and artwork is collected and exhibited around the worldREAD MORE +
Agam: Personal History
Born in France in 1958, Ron was raised between Paris and Rehovot, Israel. At the age of 6, his father gave him a camera, something that would forever shape Ron’s life. He recalls being enchanted by the magic of seeing an image appear when developing film and, from that moment on, pursued his passion for photography.
Ron spent his formative years surrounded by artists, critics, and historians, which ultimately shaped his career. Whether he was photographing art, contemplating art, or witnessing the creation of art, he was always involved in some form or another.
In the 1980s, Ron moved to New York where he opened his own gallery and art press in SoHo. His photographs were embraced for their profound sensitivity and spiritual content, launching his career as a fine art photographer.
During the September 11 attacks in 2001, Ron grabbed his equipment and left his Upper East Side apartment and headed for his office in SoHo near the World Trade Center. That day, he captured the historic heroism and tragedy that struck New York City, and subsequently, America.
It was at this time that Ron recognized the rising trend of digital photography and familiarized himself with image editing software, which unbeknownst to him, would play a role in his second artistic career.
In 2010, Ron decided to explore new art forms outside of photography. Ron began painting at the age of 52, and quickly found success following exhibitions at BDG Gallery in May 2011 and Yale University in February 2012.
His artistic rebirth continues to flourish to this day. Ron spends up to 18 hours a day in his studio, energized by his blossoming artistic energy. He continues to live and work in New York City.
“I never thought of myself as a painter—I thought I had zero talent for this, it was not for me,” Ron says. “So I began this work as a leap, without knowing where it will go.”
Agam: Style and Influences
As the son of Yaacov Agam, one of the founders of the kinetic art movement, Ron doesn’t deny the influence of his father’s iconic style.
“Maybe the reason why I use a lot of colors is because I grew up around it,” Ron says.
Bold, intuitive, and conveying a sense of wonder, Ron’s artwork draws a comparison between constellations and his artwork, as the night sky’s constellations are projections of human meaning onto nature.
“I remember, as a child, looking at the stars and thinking about who we are, what is our significance, and the meaning of all that,” Ron says. “I never resolved those questions! So, in that sense, in this art, I am still that child—and I am at ease.”
Ron calls his recent artworks “3-DK,” which stands for “three-dimensional kinetic.” His artwork is characterized by kinetic imagery, optical elements, and visual iconography that immediately engage the viewer. By using lenticular lenses, Ron creates imagery that appears to move when viewed.
Ron bases his 3-DK imagery on ideas he has sketched or conceptualized. Drawing upon the editing skills he honed as a professional photographer, Ron manipulates his digital images to create artwork full of geometric abstractions and vivid colors.
In addition to influences from his father’s art, Ron finds inspiration in the Russian Constructionists such as El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich from the Suprematism movement, Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Bauhaus artists like Josef Albers.
During a speech, Antonin Baudry, former Ambassador for French Culture and President of the Institut Français in Paris, said the following about Ron’s artwork:
“Ron reminds us that France is more than Descartes and Rimbaud, more than Bic and Babar, even Haussmann and Libertinage. We are multi-layered, complex, even contradictory nation with both light and darkness in its past…[his works] evoke a vision of history that translates to trust, acceptance, and inclusiveness in our present.”
Having picked up a paintbrush for the first time in his 50s, one of the messages Ron hopes to convey through his art is that, despite your age, it is never too late to try something new.
- In October 2009, Ron received France’s highest civic recognition for his photography: the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
- Ron’s work of art, “La France,” is on permanent display in the French Embassy in New York. The artwork is based on the French flag and conveys the richness of France’s culture and diversity.
- 1994 – Magidson Fine Art, New York City
- 1996 – Andy Weiss Gallery, Coral Gables, Florida
- 1996 – Magidson Fine Art, New York City
- 1997 – Jeanette Weinberg Jewish Community Campus, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- 2000 –Milton & Betty Katz Jewish Community Center, Margate, New Jersey
- 2001 – At the Wall, 92nd Street, New York City
- 2009 – Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York City
- 2011 – BDG gallery, New York City
- 2012 – The Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life, Yale University
- 2013 – The Breakthrough, Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York
- 2013- Ron Agam, Milton & Betty Katz Jewish Community Center, Margate, New Jersey
- 2014 – Opera Gallery, Hong Kong
- 2014 – Ron Agam, Aspen Art Gallery, Aspen, Colorado
- 2017 – Incandescent Chromophilia, GR Gallery, New York, New York
- 2001 – 116 Prince Street, New York City
- 2007 – New York Historical Society, New York City
- 2013 – Scope, Miami, Florida
- 2013 – Art Bejing, Bejing, China
- 2014 – Opera Gallery, Dubai
- 2014 – 9/11 Memorial Museum, permanent collection, New York City
- 2014 – Opera Gallery, Singapore
- 2014 – Kiaf Art Seoul Art Fair, Seoul, South Korea
- 2015 – Arcature Fine Art, Palm Beach, Florida
- 2015 – Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida
- 2016 – Galerie d’Art Paris Elysee, Paris, France
- 2016 – Galerie d’Art Saint Honoré, Paris, France