Interview with Ray Caesar by Bareknuckle Poet
From The Archive Ray, thank you for taking the time for this interview. For those who don’t know you, tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be making art for a living.
Well! I started out going to school and working as a architect then somehow got into medical graphics and later in life worked for several years in animation and special effects. In between all that I have done questionable things like the time I sold pantyhose as a sideline business and a serious attempt at becoming a MUFON investigator ( Mutual UFO Network ). I spent 17 years working in a Children’s hospital and I suppose that’s why I am making these images today. I saw so much in that place that I can hardly talk or think about it without becoming emotional. I hated making art for so many years, It never occurred to me to show it in a gallery and I didn’t even want to put it up on my own wall. The act of making it was not pleasant but for some reason it was an obsession. I made a valiant attempt to quit and was doing quite well when My mother, Sister passed away from Cancer a few years ago. Now I had always had strange dreams and used to talk to people who apparently weren’t there when I was a kid but all that started happening again especially after the death of my Mother. She was always a bit strange and if anyone could find a way to come back and scare the shit out of me she was the one to do it. Anyway I started making pictures again and contacted a gallery for the first time on a whim. Now I am making art for a living…I guess my Mom was right after all…trust her to have the last word.
– As those familiar with you and your work know, you were born a dog – what was it like for a dog at art school, and today, do you experience any ill treatment for being a dog in the often ‘dog eat dog’ world of the creative arts? Have you been bitten?
Yes! I was born in the year of the dog, 1958 in South London, my family was exiled from England for displeasing the Royal family.
Art school was a long time ago for me and all I do remember is that it didn’t go to well…all I can remember is that there were a lot of “Hippies” and that it is dangerous to run while wearing bellbottoms. The “Dog eat Dog” world of art certainly applies to the film industry, I worked for a some years in Special Effects for film and TV and I never saw such a cut throat business full of some rather crazy aggressive people whom I still love…I had a really good time though and recommend it as a career choice to anyone.
I have bitten more than I have been bitten but then who hasn’t bitten or been bitten, Its not the bite but the bark that scares me…bites heal but words stay with you.