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Rex Ray (BFA 1989)

Celebrating June PRIDE

Rex Ray (1956-2015) Courtesy of Griff Williams/Gallery 16 and the Rex Ray Estate

“When I was at the SFAI around the peak of the AIDS crisis, all my paintings were black-and-white. My professor Sam Tchakalian would just scream at me, “COLOR, COLOR!” But my whole world was black-and-white. It wasn’t until people started getting healthy, that they started surviving AIDS, that I was able to let all of my color burst out. It was that abrupt.”

Rex Ray (BFA ’89) studied painting as well as taking courses from Angela Davis and Kathy Acker.  He worked for City Lights Books,  designed some of the first T-shirts & posters for ACT-UP and also designed 100s of posters for Bill Graham Presents, while always painting and doing collage.

For info on a new Rex Ray book and exhibition from  Gallery 16: https://mailchi.mp/gallery16.com/rex-ray-cut-and-paste-july-10-august-30?e=8e7aec9612

And for a PBS piece on Rex Ray:https://www.pbs.org/video/rex-ray-how-to-make-a-rex-ray-g0ko4d/


With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.



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