Friday, November 18, 2011

Ray Caesar, Largest Solo Retrospective

Ray Caesar, Gallery House… Click on image above to open the youtube video featuring the opening at the Corey Helford Gallery.

The entrance into Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City – LA.

A busy audience arrives.

A string orchestra — composed of four artists performs for the opening with an equally impressive wardrobe–gorgeous!

Ray Caesar’s highly coveted new work –La Chasse is depicted above.

Ray Caesar’s new works align the walls…

Dante Nuno of Fire and Icing delivers a cake driving 8 hours to LA for the opening.  Above is a rendition of Ray Caesar’s Descent and below are his interpretation of the Castor and Pollux imagery.

Myself and Dante Nuno…did I mention the cake is 100% edible?!  It was later consumed at the end of the opening.

Ray Caesar, Bruce Helford, Jan Helford and myself.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mark Murphy : Scribble 08: Ray Caesar Interview In the Light

Mark Murphy : Scribble 08: Ray Caesar Interview In the Light: Ray Caesar recently exhibited 30 digital paintings, “Dangerous Inclination,” at the Corey Helford Gallery. Ray was in good spirits and the c...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fantasy Matters: Ray Caesar's Haunted Beauty

Fantasy Matters: Ray Caesar's Haunted Beauty: During the month of October, we have been featuring artwork from the exhibition at Florida State University's Museum of Fine Arts entitle...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Interview: Ray Caesar – “A Dangerous Inclination” @ Corey Helford

Photo credit: Gallery House/Ray Caesar

This Saturday night (Oct 22), Ray Caesar will be bringing his digital masterpieces to Corey Helford Gallery for his first solo exhibition there. Entitled A Dangerous Inclination, the new body of work has a deep personal meaning for Caesar as it touches on the hidden places in his psyche as well as reflects on childhood experiences. AM had the opportunity to talk to him about this and many other things in an interview leading up to the show.

Questions and answers after the jump…

Photo credit: Gallery House/Ray Caesar

Arrested Motion (AM): Can you tell us a little about your new body of work? Are there any overarching themes or messages you are trying to get across?

Ray Caesar (RC): I don’t really approach my work with a preconceived message but I do find a continuation of a process that unfolds that surprises even me after I finish the work. It does seem that my work contains aspects of a story that unfolds and has a great deal to do with a process of intense psychotherapy and the years of dealing with dissociative identity disorder (a form of multiple personalities) and trauma I went through in childhood. Virtually all of my work deals with coming to terms with the subconscious elements to my life and the way I experience the world around me. My work seems to keep on the regular themes of “Hunting Back Innocence” and “Revelations of Light” and the painful process of “Self Examination” and hidden voices calling like sirens in the night. Premonitions and the worlds of pleasure and pain and ugliness and beauty and humiliation and dignity. For many people what I do is art, but for me the pictures are a communication from my subconscious to my conscious mind. That being said, I love and enjoy what I do and on one level it’s always simply been about sitting in the sun and making pretty pictures.

AM: Your creative process is unique as you use 3D modeling programs and such to create your characters and then stage them in environments. Can you talk a little more in detail as to what that entails and what you feel are advantages and disadvantages of this method compared to traditional techniques?

RC: Working in a 3D environment using Maya just seems to suit me as it’s a very sculptural way of making images and rather than just drawing a picture, it’s a way of building the content of the little world I create. It’s very much like constructing a fairytale story with the dolls and toys you had or wanted as a child. In this case, you are building all your toys and with those toys you start to see differences and more clarity each time you enact out that story. I really love modeling my figures in Maya and setting up the figures with movement and posing and building the dresses and shoes and styling the hair and creating the rooms and chairs and hidden contents that exist in each box and hiding place. I set up the lights and adjust virtual cameras and it always seems to me like the opening night of a little theater when I begin to see the final image. I think that creating another little world within a world is very much like looking inside my own head in a way.

I have drawn, painted, and made sculpture for years and for some strange reason, I don’t see what I do any “less” traditional than those methods as it seems I have been given a tool to play with my imagination. I think in the coming years, the computer will become the greatest tool that was ever made for creativity, art, and the exploration of the human imagination and the tradition is being made as we do it now.

Photo credit: Gallery House/Ray Caesar

AM: You have often described an affinity for seeing beauty within when viewing something grotesque and unpleasant as in your work. How did you develop this philosophy and in what ways does it affect your life, art included?

RC: I have always thought of my work as a form of self portrait or at least the portrait of what its’ like to look inside my head. I think it’s natural to look in a mirror and see something beautiful and grotesque and many of us swing back and forth in our own estimation of that reflected image of who we are – more or less so if we are naked in front of that mirror!

I think for an artist, dealing with putting their emotions, passions, love, and pain onto a wall we have to be honest with what we find in the reflections of our inner mind and subconscious. Sometimes that process can be hard and if I am going to bring the world into the living room of my subconscious, I am damn well going to tidy up and make the place as pretty and presentable before everyone arrives. It’s sort of like saying – oh! yes rats and decay live in that little corner over there so I put the rats into pretty silk blue dresses and tiny little silk blue rat shoes (with some difficulty I might add) and mixed some dip into the decay so please all sit down and have a glass of punch – which, by the way, I have spiked with gin to hide the aftertaste of arsenic. I am not sure its a “philosophy” but i’ts the best I can do if everyone arrives to the party unexpected. In a nutshell, I think life can be hard sometimes so the best thing we can do is put up a good front and do the best we can and if you can’t find the prettiness in the putridity, then you’re basically just left with the putridity.

AM: Much is known of your previous career at a children’s hospital and how your work is influenced by the abused, neglected and deformed children you were surrounded by everyday. What are some of the reasons you have made art in response to these experiences? Do you see it as a catharsis of coming to terms with what you saw, a natural reaction of painting things you are familiar with, an attempt to do something for these poor children that you couldn’t do back then, or more probably something completely different?

RC: I don’t think I had any altruistic reason for including the content of the 17 years I spent at the Hospital For Sick Children. I believe those years helped me come to some realization of my own childhood and the difficulties I will have from that early time for the rest of my life. As a child, I used pictures as a way of hiding feelings and emotions I wanted to protect in situations that were extremely dangerous. If I experienced something that overwhelmed me, that I couldn’t deal with, or had emotions I wasn’t allowed to display, I used to draw it into a picture. Those pictures became a doorway to a happier, safer place – and sometimes a dangerous place for others because it was MY place. Years later while working at the hospital I realized I was doing the same thing. If I saw a child that had been burned with an iron, I couldn’t handle the image in my mind and function. So, I put the image into a picture, sometimes repeatedly (in fact, I drew and painted pictures about irons for 10 years ), and then I would put the picture away into a closet. Sometimes I would have a little ceremony at night and burn the picture in my backyard. For years and years I didn’t realize what I was doing but it occurred to me much later in life that I was dealing obsessively with emotions on a subconscious level and the picture was able to communicate to my conscious level that all was ok ..we have protected the memory and managed the memory and found a place to put the memory so it wont hurt us again. It was/is a excellent way of viewing the image from a safe distance …a way of disassociating oneself from the ugly thing in ones head…a way of turning the ugliness in life into something manageable ..maybe even beautiful. It was and is a way to cope.

Photo credit: Gallery House/Ray Caesar

AM: I was interested to read you made the current career change based on a dream you had where your mother, who had recently passed at the time, encouraged you to pursue and art career. How did you make the leap to know that this was the right path to take when most possibly would have dismissed it as just a dream? Have you had any other life-changing visions such as this?

RC: Yes My Mother and sister passed away very close to each other some years ago. It was a very difficult time and I had always had a form of sleep paralysis where I would wake and couldn’t move and during that time I will see visions and precognitive events … in other words the events I experience in this state and in lucid dreams quite often come true or are of a very spiritual nature. I wouldn’t have dismissed the event as just a dream ..ha! because it wasn’t a dream! …I am not sure what these events are but I have had many of them through life and many of them are related to events around death and for some strange reason I feel more aware than when I am awake. It’s a condition I am told that may be related to my dis-associative Identity disorder and its taken some time to feel at ease with the idea that spiritually and psycho therapeutically it all means something. I don’t worry about it much and I still think many people have this but don’t talk about as it can incite ridicule and some negative reactions in some people ….in fact for many years I thought every one had this but it was one of those things we weren’t supposed to talk about like having gas. I do believe certain life changing events such as this are very important to talk about though as I think we are all open to something I describe as the super-conscious and if paying attentions to such events can lead to a positive change in my life it might mean the same for someone else. Sleep paralysis or hypnopompic and hypnogogic dreaming is being studied at the University of Waterloo here in Canada and I think the best way to approach these things is with mind open to the possibility that scientifically and spiritually they both have important meaning and might be more related than we care to think.

Discuss this show here.
Discuss Ray Caesar here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mark Murphy : Scribble 08: Cute and Creepy Museum Show

Mark Murphy : Scribble 08: Cute and Creepy Museum Show: Guest curator, artist and instructor, Carrie Ann Baade , unleashes a new exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University ...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Biennale De Lyon

Ray Caesar of Gallery House representing Canada at the Lyon, France Biennale. Conceived by the Argentinean curator Victoria Noorthoorn–who has worked for such institutions that include the MOMA and The Drawing Center in New York –has been appointed to direct the 11th Biennale de Lyon is gathering 70 artists from all over the world, but mostly from Europe, Africa and Latin America.

The Lyon Biennale has numerous stages of venues throughout the city; above is the main entrance to pick up our entry pass and information kit. Historic architecture are embedded between recent buildings along the river. The artists works is being exhibited over 14.000 square meters, across four venues: La Sucrière, the Fondation Bullukian, the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, and the T.A.S.E. factory. The Biennale de Lyon is an international exhibition, accompanied by two platforms: “Veduta” and “Résonance”.

Above installers are bustling about setting up and arranging Ray Caesar’s works for exhibit.

Almost ready…behind this large booth in the back section is another wall of Ray Caesar works being installed.

Press, Media and VIP Opening Night–Jerome Catz–who curated this section of the Biennale gives a talk.

Jerome Catz of Spacejunk Centers on the left; and myself just before the crowd hits.

Gallery House is interviewed by one tv crew; two newspaper channels and three radio channels. Above center is Jean Marc Vernier the Director of the Biennale.

Along the river near one of the venues; houses dot along the scenery. Lyon is situated between Paris and Marseille and as depicted is known for historic architectural landmarks and is regarded as the capital “Gastronomy” of France. And indeed is it ever. Delicious food, fantastic service, attention to details in the pastry shops are at another level that one can barely imagine!

A restaurant nearby this magnificent modern cheese like structure! A fantastic patio offshoot with a small mechanical artistic water fall to boot.

At the gift shop in one of the venues, some images of Ray Caesar books…..they later received some Limited Edition books–see Ray Caesar Books at Gallery House.

Between venues, trailers decorated with works of art.

Above is a snapshot of the hub of Lyon city and a great old fashion sign glimmering against the backdrops of the hills. It was a frequent sight as I waited by this corner for a connecting bus to bring me back to the hotel. The metro system in Lyon is really great; from my hotel I took a bus, subway and a monorail to reach one of the venues despite the many methods of transportation it was efficient, I believe must be new as it was so clean and to top it off the stops designated the wait time never more then a few minutes.

A view of the outside of my hotel where it happened to be the Convention centre where the Film Festival was taking place! Quite a few red carpet walks! In fact, Lyon is known to have had a significant role in originating film in the world.

Above depicts after the VIP/Media viewing and the party begins in the official opening to the public of the Biennale De Lyon! The exhibitions run till December 31, 2011.

By Belinda Chun

Saturday, June 18, 2011




SILENT AUCTION DATES: June 24th – July 3rd, 2011
LOCATION: Vered Gallery, 68 Park Place, East Hampton, NY 11937 (East Hampton, NY - June, 2011) - This Summer, Vered Gallery's 10th Annual Independence Day Weekend Silent Art Auction will benefit the Turn the Corner Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to the support of research, education, awareness and innovative treatments for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases – a mission especially important to the more than seven million residents and countless visitors to Long Island, an epicenter for this growing epidemic. Preview of auction lots will begin at Vered Gallery and on its website Friday, June 24th at 11am, kicking off a week of events designed to raise awareness of Lyme disease and Turn the Corner's vital mission. Benefit Committee Co-Chairs Jay McInerney and Anne Hearst brought the Turn the Corner Foundation to the attention of Vered Gallery this spring when Jay mentioned his interest in supporting its Lyme disease research program. Turn the Corner's mission to help advance treatment of Lyme disease is particularly close to Jay's heart since members of his family are afflicted with this debilitating disease. An informative meeting with Turn the Corner Director Stacey Sobel solidified the gallery's support, and development of this summer's Art Auction Benefit was quickly underway. Other members of the Benefit Committee include Candace Bushnell, Nicole Miller, Brooke Shields, Helen Bransford and Laura McFarlane. Artworks by John Chamberlain, Chuck Close, Eric Fischl, BIll Viola, Andy Warhol, Ray Caesar and Raul Higuera are among those being auctioned off to Benefit Turn the Corner.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Man who escaped in handcuffs caught |

Man who escaped in handcuffs caught |

John Ray Caesar is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. Caesar is charged with two counts of petit larceny, escape in the third degree, and criminal possession of stolen property, that property being those city-owned handcuffs he allegedly made off with.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011