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New Works by Toronto-Based Artist Ray Caesar at Jonathan LeVine Gallery
Ray Caesar, Homecoming. Editions 1—5, digital media on panel (UltraChrome print on Epson Luster paper, mounted on Dibond), 40 x 60 inches (101.6 x 152.4 cm).
NEW YORK, NY.- Jonathan LeVine Gallery presents A Gentle Kind of Cruelty, new works by Toronto-based artist Ray Caesar, in what is his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. The show features printed multiples as well as several large-scale, original, one-of-a-kind prints. Caesar expands upon his signature aesthetic in this exhibition by taking a more painterly approach, rendering new imagery with softer edges and greater movement than in previous work. The artist’s digitally created dreamscapes, set in elaborately furnished Rococo-style interiors, feature haunting doll-like female figures with delicate features and porcelain complexions. The hybrid characters, part-child-part-woman, some sprouting tails, tentacles and other animal appendages, all wear elaborate costumes that reference fashions of the past and often incorporate futuristic elements as well.

Caesar works in Maya (a 3D modeling software used for digital animation effects in film and game industries), using it to create his figures as well as the virtual realms in which they exist. Through the program, he builds digital models with invisible skeletons and anatomical joints that can be bent and manipulated to assume any pose. He wraps the models in rich textures, adding hair, skin, eyelashes and fingernails. Then places them in digitally lit, impeccably detailed 3D environments built with architectural layers, windows, wallpapers, curtains and furnishings. Caesar’s meticulous process incorporates elements of drawing, painting, collage and sculpture, working countless hours to achieve every remarkably intricate tableau. Further emphasizing his sculptural technique, Caesar compares his process of 2D printmaking with imagery created in 3D as being similar to the practice of capturing stills from video and film.

With full control over dressing, posing and lighting his figures as well as every element of their surroundings, Caesar’s craft is an advanced extension of a childhood obsession—playing with dolls. Fantasy, escapism, human cruelty and disguise are reoccurring themes explored within his dramatic narratives. Betraying the seemingly child-like innocence of the figures is their piercing, knowing gaze—exposing inner strength in contrast with their fragile physical appearance. Dark details manifest from deep within the artist’s vast imagination to define simulated realities, transporting the viewer into sanctuaries created for his lost ghost-children who emerge from shadows into safe refuge, carrying macabre secrets and hidden truths.

Ray Caesar was born in 1958 in London. At an early age, his family moved to Toronto, where he currently resides. From 1977—80 he attended Ontario College of Art, followed by 17 years from 1980—96 working in the art & photography department of the Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto, documenting disturbing cases of child abuse, surgical reconstruction, psychology, and animal research. Coupled with inspiration from surrealists Kahlo and Dali, Caesar’s experiences at the hospital continue to influence his artwork. His haunting imagery is created digitally using 3D modeling software called Maya, mastered while working in digital animation for television and film industries from 1998—2001. In 1999, Caesar received a Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Special Effects in a series.





Today's News

January 24, 2011

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Two California Groups Want Historic Decommissioned Navy Ship as a Tourist Attraction

Sotheby's Announces the Dedicated Auction of What Modern Is: The Collection of Mark McDonald

Santa Monica Museum of Art Presents First Museum Exhibition by Daniel Cummings

Kunsthalle Basel Presents First Major Solo Exhibition in Switzerland of Works by Artist Bettina Pousttchi

Art Lovers Queue through Night for Glimpse of Monet at the Grand Palais in Paris

Landmark Exhibition of John Marin's Revolutionary Watercolors in Major Art Institute Exhibition

Clark Art Institute Investigates European Portraiture in the Exhibition Eye to Eye

Images Inspired by Ed Ruscha's Admitted Love of Driving at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

New Works by Toronto-Based Artist Ray Caesar at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Nordic Water Tales by Susanna Majuri at Galerie Adler

Solo Exhibition of Sculptures, Paintings and Drawings by Jun Kaneko Opens in Cincinnati

International Center of Photography Opens Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide

Drawings and Photographs from the Collection of Designer Kasper at the Morgan Library

Vlatka Horvat Opens the Spring Season at Bergen Kunsthall with Major Installation

Exhibition by William Eggleston Transforms Ordinary Moments into Indelible Images

Malmo-Based Artist Christian Andersson Presents His Largest Show Ever at Moderna Museet

Retrospective of 40 Years of Richard Deacon's Work Opens at the Sprengel Museum

New York City Museum and Visitor Center to Display Brooklyn Navy Yard's 200-Year History

Art Dubai Projects to Feature New Work by More than 75 Artists in 2011 Edition

Audio-Visual Exploration of Myth and Reality in Tijuana Subject of New Exhibition

Ida Kay Greathouse, Director Emerita of the Frye Art Museum, Dies

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