Ray Caesar creates fantastic, grimly hopeful and gravely whimsical images of wizened children 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.
Working for 17 years in the Art and Photography Department of The Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto, Ray documented things such as 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 wondering 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 and present themselves in his dreamy images, which draw inspiration from the works of Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, and Paul Cadmus.
Ray's work is most astonishing in the fact it is all 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 Ceaser has new work due for exhibition at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery as part of the 'Art from the New World' show that runs from May 14th until August 22nd.