Ray Smith, ‘Indian’, 2012, Watermill Center Summer Benefit Auction 2014

Estimate: $4,000.
Ray Smith emerged in the 1980s, producing paintings and sculptures characterized by a blend of magical realism and surrealism. Contorted and morphed human figures recur throughout his work, as do images of dogs and other anthropomorphized animals and fantastical, part-human, part-animal hybrid beasts. Indian is a heroic two-tone ink depiction of a surreal figure with wooden musculature holding up a bear cub.

About Ray Smith

Ray Smith emerged in the 1980s, and has been pursuing an inclusive, collaborative approach to art-making ever since, producing—often with the input of his longtime studio assistants—exuberant paintings and sculptures characterized by a blend of magical realism, Surrealism, and Modernism. His inimitable style and subject matter reflects his bi-cultural American and Mexican heritage, his early studies of fresco painting with traditional practitioners in Mexico, and an indebtedness to Picasso, the Surrealists, and the politically daring Mexican muralists. Contorted and morphed human figures recur throughout his work, as do images of dogs and other anthropomorphized animals and fantastical, part-human, part-animal hybrid beasts. Through these varied beings, as well as images of distorted timepieces, Smith reflects upon the complexities and absurdities of society, family, politics, culture, war, and the human condition itself, framed by birth and death.

American, b. 1959, Brownsville, Texas, based in Brooklyn, New York and Cuernavaca, Mexico