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At London House Rugs we take great pride in the range of artists and styles we support and produce – prolific San Francisco artist, Rex Ray, being one of them.
A fascinating person with a fascinating vision, we decided to delve a little deeper, and take a peek at the man behind one of our most popular collections.
Rex Ray (1956 – 2015) was a San Franciso-based conceptual artist who made a significant impact on the art and literary scene.
Born on a U.S. army base in Germany to Louise and Charles Patterson, Ray moved to San Francisco in 1981 and graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Initially, he built a name for himself by creating pieces for rock shows, rallies (specifically a political advocacy group called Act Up) and nightclubs, gradually becoming so well-known he was commissioned to work with massive names such as David Bowie.
Ray, additionally, was not afraid of technological change – and as a result, was involved in huge graphics-based projects for Apple, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, Matador Records and Mute Records (as examples). Embracing digital art, he had his own (massively successful) computer graphics company between the 80’s and 90’s, which he ultimately rebelled against by returning to studio practice.
Perhaps it is this especial fluidity of Ray’s designs – their ability to provide just as effective an impact on canvas as they do digitally – that has made them so coveted, and he such an admired and memorable artist. Ray’s work been exhibited at a huge range of galleries and museums, such as The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Crocker Museum in Sacramento, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.
Ray’s compositions are colourful, sharp, textured and resonant and “eye-poppingly” 60’s: “retro-futuristic”, as we like to call it.
His collage-style popart effects are reflective of an edgy, alternative subculture personal to him and his time – one of the reasons why his work (and our rugs, consequently) are so distinctive.
‘Drawing inspiration from the fluid forms of mid-century modernism, Rex Ray rugs are simply “art for the floor”.’
Here’s a couple of our favourites.
There’s little doubt that Rex Ray has left a legacy – so widespread is his art, you can find it on scarves, ceramics, wristwatches, canvasses – and even a car!
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a little piece of him, too. Check out our collection today, and pay homage to one of the most forward-thinking, innovative artists of our time.
- The Bold Italic, ‘RIP San Francisco Artist and Cultural Icon Rex Ray’
- Art Wiki, ‘Rex Ray’
- The Guardian, ‘Rex Ray obituary’
- Rex Ray