From 30 feet away or more, the eyes rivet you. They seem to follow you as you walk from one side of the gallery to another. The young male African elephant summons you with his stare, drawing you closer. He’s so huge that the 7-foot-square frame blocks his floppy ears and the top of his massive head. But his brow, tusks, and trunk appear to jut forward. Finally, you’re standing nose-to-trunk with ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, a recent canvas by Ray Hare. And, absorbed as you’ve been by the intense sense of reality the artist has conjured, your grasp on reality suddenly shifts. The animal’s forehead—which you’ve perceived as drawn directly from a pachyderm palette of grays, browns, and blacks dissolves into an almost abstract composition of dots and swirls in a rainbow of colors.
For a moment, you might feel as if you’re viewing that elephant on a molecular level. Or, if you’re of a more mystical inclination, you might sense that you’ve connected with a powerful representation of the spirit that animates all creatures great and small. Then you step back a few paces, and once again, that elephant’s eyes draw you in. You’ve just experienced the sort of uncommon communion offered by Hare’s creations.
“When we think we understand something, and then something else happens to knock us off track—that’s the kind of journey on which I’d like my paintings to take you,” says Hare.
On every level, from a first illusion of vividly rendered reality to a fleeting yet powerful sense that you’re glimpsing the very energy of life itself, he aims to intrigue, challenge, and satisfy the viewer. (written by Alan Kolpus ~Southwest Magazine)
Native Californian Ray Hare has expressed himself through art at an early age. In high school he won numerous state and national competitions. He received a full scholarship to California College of Arts and Crafts where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with High Distinction. Subsequently, Ray received his Masters of Fine Art from San Francisco State University.
His work has been shown in numerous museums, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, DeYoung Museum, Oakland Museum, Crocker Kingsley Art Museum and the Los Angeles Art Institute. Many prominent corporations and institutions have added Ray’s paintings to their collections, most notably commissioned portraits by ABC, NBC and Fox Network to create portraits of Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ray Charles, as gifts for their private collections. Ray’s work is also found in many other
prestigious, private collections throughout the United States and Europe.