The trouble with angels

with Ray Caesar


By dint of talking with his agent and choose the works to be included in the article, every kinky girl who takes shape in the fairy settings by Ray Caesar became my lover. It is night, the place to find any inspiration or curiosity about those subjects, to realize the feeling trapped in a spell…

What is “the trouble with angels”?

We each have inner demons and inner angels and sometimes the tow can both be troublesome. I have recently discovered I need my inner demon to survive and life can be made so difficult and hard by trying to live up to that inner angel. I see the figures in my work as a kind of symbol of purity and virtue but for some reason a mischievous tainted aspect of them creeps in without my choice. Perhaps spiritual growth is accepting that dark side and realizing it too has a positive energy.


What kind of time we are living in?

It’s certainly an interesting time. Possibly it’s the beginning of the end of times if we are not careful. We are destroying our tiny world and polluting our air and water and earth and we are desecrating other species that live on this tiny world with us.

Your definition of Pop Surrealism:

I think it is just a descriptive way of placing a group of artists into a definable context. Often these names have less to do with individual artists and more to do with placing them in a genre. Personally I don’t think my work has much of a “pop” element to it in terms of “Popular culture” but there are certain surrealistic elements on occasion in my work. I have never been interested in being identified with a genre of art as I am too claustrophobic for that… I prefer the freedom of making what I love by my own definition… I have no interest to have what I make defined by a set of criteria decided upon by someone else.



The ways of violating innocence (in art) are intended to deny it or put it on guard?

I personally don’t think of making such a strong social statement or lack of it in my work. I also don’t think I violate innocence as these subtle references in my work are much more to do with my own life and my own conscious and subconscious relation to my own lifetime of memories. Personally I lost innocence at a very young age… probably before I could even remember so for me my work is a hunt to regain some aspect of that innocence… in truth it was never lost but buried deep inside me and my work is an exploration of that deeper part of my subconscious and the pictures I make are a window into that world of personal discovery.

How much of your work has to do with provocation?

A very small amount but I do use it as an ingredient in my work but in very small doses. I use many ingredients and it’s the subtle balance of those provocative and engaging and alluring elements. It’s about using one thing and then its opposite to create a interesting contrast and balance. It only takes a pinch of putridity in perfume to evoke a subtle response of a very different nature.


Someone says that your art is a way to reflect your anxieties and your phobias: Do you want to talk about it?

That’s like saying wine is just sour grapes and water. It’s all in what you see in a work and it’s just like tasting wine or making perfume. There are subtleties going on that not everyone can experience on just a first glimpse… sometimes you have to smell a work and allow the odor of it to lay on your own skin or mind. My work is more a reflection of my own subconscious and memory and past of both cruel and kind events and horrible and wonderful experiences. I know how much effort I put into placing small subtle ingredients in my work that can often be missed or overlooked on the first viewing. The viewer also brings a lot of their own anxieties and phobias and many other things to the viewing of a piece. My effort is to make the viewer “feel” something and have an emotional response to the work… whatever that response is has more to do with them than me.


Do you think the power of a parent can affect the sensitivity of a child permanently, or there is always a way to escape?

As someone that came from a very difficult childhood I would have to say “No”… that any affect the past has on a child can be modified and changed in some way as to allow that child to live with a positive outlook. The past and what happened is set in stone but our response that past can change as our mind is in constant flux and is very plastic and very creative… especially children. Genetic history and environment are only parts to the way we deal with our lives. I changed my response to my own past by using “Art”… I take bad memories and wonderful memories and complex subtle memories and I mix them in a creative world of my own choosing. This process allows the ancient subconscious parts of my mind to speak in pictures and by giving that part of my mind a way to communicate… I evolve and change myself and create new paths and new open doors to a future with possibility and wonder. Art does this as does therapy and all the ways human beings find positive ways to cope. The adult stands precariously on the shoulders of the child within and if you can heal and spiritually grow that inner child then all things are possible.


What is the very moment when we realize to be an artist?

Michelangelo spoke of the sculpture within the stone… I believe there is an artist within everybody and we don’t have to make “good” art… we just have to make the art that is inside us and work and try to bring out that sculpture within the stone that has existed all our lives. We all have feelings and emotions and we are all creative and those are the essential ingredients of art. The effort to create is a right we cannot take away from any individual and it’s a personal journey. It’s not about being “good” at it… it’s about making an effort to communicate what is deep with our personal heart and mind. We are all artists and it’s our mind and body and spiritual essence that is the work of art.



Do you think the increase in the number of people who are dedicated to art corresponds to an increase in sensitivity in the world?

I hope so… it’s a wonderful and positive thought. I do very much believe that art is a very gentle sensitive part of the human psyche even though it can express very violent elements and challenging about ourselves. I believe the more we explore our emotional response to art rather than just our conceptual or intellectual response to it the more sensitive we are to everything that surrounds us in this world. Art has the possibility to fully express our passions and emotional response to a very complex world. If we know how we feel about who and what we are as individuals and as a species then I believe there is hope.

You have been to the opening of your exhibition at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome (February 15/April 6). Your “artistic” impressions about this city and its people:

I love Rome and I love Italy. I remember being in a taxi and the driver shouting to another driver that cut him off… a bus driver also got into the fray and the one thing I noticed… they all had smiles on their faces and in a way they were just having fun. I love the city of Rome so much and it is the only place I have ever visited that I felt at home immediately and that I felt the people… all of them were like family. I would very much like to make plans to live there and think its very possible in the near future as it would be a wonderful place to make my work.



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