Fay Ray Featured in LA Confidential
As LA consolidates its position as a global art capital, women are breaking down barriers one cutting-edge canvas and avant installation at a time. Meet five art stars of the new cultural vanguard.
Native Angeleno Fay Ray, 36, needed to step outside of LA and experience the cold concrete jungle of NYC to learn the true value that her childhood home added to her artistic life. “I think the lizard is my spirit animal,” says the artist, who earned her MFA at Columbia University. “Stepping outside and being smacked in the face with warmth and sunlight makes it easier for me to work. Coming home in 2009 was a process of healing.”
From working at many different art spaces (LAXART, LACMA) to starting her own gallery to assisting artist John Baldessari, Ray experienced every avenue of the art world, thus giving her a unique perspective into both the business and creative sides of the field. “In Los Angeles you can author your own art scene—you can put your art up on a cinder block wall in your apartment, and people will come. There are many more opportunities here than there are artists.” And people do come to see Ray’s meticulously crafted work. She has found early and sustained success nationwide, with upcoming gallery shows that will exhibit both her sculptures and her image-based collages. Ray initially viewed these collages as sketches for her sculptures that were often too momentous or too expensive to make, but they took on a life of their own. “I always had the two streams going, and it used to torture me,” she says. “Now I’ve surrendered, and the new work will have aspects of both!”
Inspired by female artists like Sarah Lucas, Valie Export, and Hannah Hoch, Ray’s pieces live in a feminine space, often contemplating the use of female imagery and construction in the media. “I make work from the inside out, and some of the themes I work through are essentially female. I’m not afraid of feminine-looking sparkly stuff, even if I don’t trust it.” It is in her collages that she takes bits and pieces, changes the scale of images, and inserts her own photographs to change their contexts and meanings. “I’m trying to rescue the beauty in there and dignify it.”
Fay Ray’s work can currently be seen in the group show “Bananas” at Gallery Diet in Miami and in a solo show in early 2016 at Louis B. James Gallery in NYC. Ray’s work is also on display at MAMA Gallery in Los Angeles with the exhibit “To Hide To Show” through July 25, 2015.
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