“I’m not as much confident as I am fearless. I have a lot of doubt and a lot of insecurity when I go into a given situation. But I don’t let it stop me. It took a long time to find that.” – Rex Ray
Recently in our adult class, we learned about the life and career of the late American artist, Rex Ray. We printed our own paper using Gelli Plates and acrylic paint. We then used the printed paper to create abstract collages inspired by Rex Ray and the beautiful colours of fall.
Rex Ray (Michael Patterson) was born in Landstuhl, Germany on September 11, 1956. His father served in the US Army. He was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado and later moved to San Francisco, California.
He was inspired by Andy Warhol and adopted the moniker, Rex Ray. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute where he received his BFA in 1989. After earning his degree he designed digital graphics for nightclubs and rock concerts. The first t-shirts and posters he created were for the political advocacy organization called Act Up.
During his lifetime he had an impressive client roster in the music, fashion, entertainment and design industries. He worked with David Bowie, Dreamworks, Neiman Marcus, Sony Music, Apple and many others. His designs have been licensed and produced on clothing, carpets, ceramics, wristwatches, surfboards and on a Mini Cooper.
In the early 1990’s, he moved away from his computer graphics business and returned to studio work. He produced a prolific number of fine art paintings and collages that are marked by the use of psychedelic pop art images. His techniques involved a process of Xerography, handmade woodblock prints, newsprint and magazine images that were transformed into vibrant colour schemes.
Rex Ray has been collected by museums and art lovers the world over and his work continues to resonate in the art world. He was the subject of a documentary, “How to make a Rex Ray”. Sadly, Ray died of cancer in 2015.
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