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I met Ray about over a year ago. One of his college art professors encouraged him to apply to a call for entries I was having through the Frank Juarez Gallery called, ‘The Art of Collage’. Ray was one of 20 artists selected for the exhibition. What attracted me to his work is how he executed his materials to create his painterly, bold colored collages.
Ray’s recent work focuses on the potential of materials to represent the human form. By use of various materials he is looking for a harmonious duality with object and space to create an army of works that hold a common subject but different visual responses.
His studio practice is grounded in experiences with television characters; stand up comedians, and daily personal happenings with strangers. Re-appropriating a fictional or unknown character from these sources help to stimulate viewers’ cognitive literacy. The deconstruction of the human form relates to an individual response specifically to the playfulness to the physical aspects of the human form. The result to his studio process of using obscure materials to create form fluctuate the viewer from shapeless to representational to gain significance between suggestive and indecipherable.
He is now working on a few different ideas. He wants to create 3D heads out of fabric. By the end he would like to add paint to the structure to create more texture to the final piece. He has also started a product line called, ‘The People’, which focuses on creating clothing with images of his digital works. His hope is that this product will be ready by mid 2016.
Ray received his B.A. from the University of Houston-Houston, TX in 2012 and his M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI in 2014. Easley’s notable group shows include The Biennial Neon & Light Exhibition, Plant Pathogen National Convention, We Got Spirit Yes We Do: A Lovey Town Collection and Luck of the Draw with the Madison Public Library. This year he will have his first solo exhibition titled, ‘Them People From the Hills’ with The Fayetteville Underground Gallery in Fayetteville, AR. Ray is also producing solo shows titled ‘Those Four Sister’s’ and ‘Dem Boys From the Woods’, which will be at the Marie Moore Gallery in Three Lakes, WI and the Madison Public Library this year.
Ray lives and works out of Fall River, WI with his wife, Trish and dog, Rock-O.
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All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.