“The World Traveler”
Ray Caesar’s painterly digital prints, first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 31, combine elements that are as grotesque as they are beautiful. He looks to his memories, particularly his own difficult childhood, to see beyond the challenges of reality and find the calm and beauty within. For his upcoming exhibition at Gallery House in Toronto, “Pretty Little Predators”, Caesar illustrates the power of memories- and their impact on our past, present and future lives. Dressed in Rococo and pre-French Revolution era attire, his subjects have a historical quality about them. Caesar sees the past as an important part of his personal life, and an equally important part of his life as an artist. One piece in the show, “The World Traveler”, communicates his views about life: “Traveling from one star to another with no memory of the starting point while slowly increasing to light speed to a destination of which we cannot even fully comprehend… We make a journey in which we can only go forward in time, experiencing relativity and time distortion that can make a moment seem like eternity. Years pass us by, as if in a flash. One thing is clear about such a journey – we cannot get off and we cannot go back, all we can do is sit back and enjoy the view,” he says. Ray Caesar’s “Pretty Little Predators” will be on view at Gallery House in Toronto Canada from November 21st through December 19th, 2015. Take a look at some of his new works, with commentary, below.
The Nature Of Gravity: “There are events, people, memories and circumstances that continue to grow, creating mass and gravity within our lives. Even a scent, a piece of art, or a color can make us gravitate to it like flies, ants and bees to a rotting flower fallen to the ground because of its own weight. We place importance on some events, and by doing so over time, those events amass gravity and that gravity can crush all about it like a black hole in space. This law of attraction can also devour and consume us or it can be the very foundation of our world that centers us as the gravitational pull could also be the love and kindness that give structure to our lives. Perhaps we die not because we grow old but because the weight of memory becomes too much to bear.”
Southbound: “There are times in our lives when we feel like we are going into the depths of Hell rushing through a tunnel on a runaway train going southbound. I sometimes think this aspect of our nature might not be so bad if we ourselves are the demon and that particular Hell is the very place we call home.”
Old Wounds: “Old scars from the past are reminders of our mortality and remembrances of the continuity of the chapters of our life. Each of us is the hero in our story, collecting the wounds and memories like cherished photographs and keepsakes. Some of these wounds we hide and some are in plain sight for all to see. As time goes on, we find that it is easier to care for our own old wounds as well as care for the old wounds of those we love. As we deal with our own pain, we learn empathy for the pain of others.”
Girl in a Red Chaperone: “When I was 9 years old I received a book of art for Christmas. In this book was “A Portrait of a Man” by Jan Van Eyck. I was stunned by this image and it made a memory so profound that I can still remember the exact moment as if it were yesterday. This simple portrait held a power over me and set me in a direction of making pictures for the rest of my life. Some say this piece was a self portrait of Jan Van Eyck, and if so, it was as if that old man with his piercing ancient eyes burnt an impression on my soul like a hot iron brands the skin. The man in the picture was old but my self portrait is a reflection of my own soul… something still young with much to learn.”