38" x 23.5" Oil On Board
Son of the American film and stage actor Henry Fonda and brother of the actress Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda is an actor and icon of 1960s counterculture. Beginning his career on Broadway, Peter later moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in the film industry. He was the lead in many romantic and comedic films before moving on to more dramatic roles and eventually television. However, with his long hair and lax attitudes Fonda was anything but the conventional leading man. By the mid-1960s his nonconformist persona came at the expense of commercially traditional acting roles. As many of his friends were in bands, including the Byrds and The Beatles, he was exposed to counter-culture trends and became involved in his first alternative film in 1966. Starring as the leading man in The Wild Angels, a film that celebrates the Hells Angels and American motorcycle culture at large, he would go on to produce, co-write and feature in Easy Rider. In his breakthrough performance as “Captain America,” the notorious biker whose jacket featured an American flag, Fonda truly became an icon of late Americana. Ryan toasts Fonda’s star status by positioning his name atop the symbols and colors of the American flag, the iconic emblems that hark back to a simpler time. With a font that is reminiscent of strong, sign-like typography and a composition that reflects visual symmetry, the painting exists as a contemporary reworking of Fonda’s lasting legacy.