Ray Caesar & Kosta Kulundzic : The Outsiders
Ray Caesar & Kosta Kulundzic
The Outsiders
Fanny Giniès, February 9, 2009
Ray Caesar_Descent, 2008
Ray Caesar_Descent, 2008
Ray Caesar

This artist is back in France after having spent the year 2008 visiting international art scenes with new original pieces. All of his works plunge us in a rococo, as well a surrealist universe, yet with a futuristic flavour.

The visitor enters a strange fantastic world that he has trouble placing : is he wandering through marvellous realms, an enigmatic world where technique is king ? Because mechanics are a recurring theme in Ray Caesar’s works. They’re even a starting point for the visitor’s questions, and they arouse a perpetual to-and-fro between past and future. The past appears in the making of the digital works : the grain of the paintings recall that of 18th century oil paintings, and the metal mechanical structures remind us of the prototype machines invented at the beginning of the century.

Deformed heads and disproportioned bodies that impress yet don’t frighten are the protagonists of his paintings. It’s as if these dolls held the key to a deep truth no one can attain, a revelation on human cruelty.

Ray Caesar tells us he’s often able to enter his creative subconscious when he finds himself dreaming awake. His work in such an oneiric world as well as his sometimes disturbing dolls undeniably make Ray Caesar part of the Surrealist Pop movement. He works with Maya, a 3D modelisation software thanks to which he can create his characters, worlds and atmospheres.

Ray Caesar/Day break above, 2008
Ray Caesar/Day break above, 2008
Ray Caesar creates fantastic, grimly hopeful and gravely whimsical images of wizened people who radiate an enigmatic serenity. Sprouting bio-mechanical limbs and appendages, the figures are otherworldly, a melding of sci-fi fantasy, lush landscapes, and Victorian sensibilities. Having worked in the Art and Photography Department of The Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto, Ray documented the truths of child abuse, surgical reconstruction, psychology, and animal research. The artist explains, "I often awake in the middle of the night and realize I have been wandering in the hallways and corridors of the giant hospital. It is clear to me that this is the birthplace of all my imagery." These experiences continually haunt him and appear in his dream-like images, which draw inspiration from the works of Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, and Paul Cadmus. Ray's work is astonishingly digitally created. Most people assume they are looking at paintings due to the seamless blending and "painterly quality" of the work as well as its unique emotional impact. Creating models in a 3D modeling software called Maya, he then wraps them in painted and manipulated texture maps. Each model is set up with an invisible skeleton that allows him to pose each figure in its 3D enviroment. Digital lights and cameras are added with shadows and reflections simulating that of a mysterious and strange "real" world.

Ray Caesar/Day break, 2008
Ray Caesar/Day break, 2008
Ray Caesar/Eternity, 2008
Ray Caesar/Eternity, 2008
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