Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Solo Exhibition, San Francisco

Ray Beldner: Portraits
Catharine Clark Gallery
November 5-December 23, 2011

Two bodies of drawings and prints that explore the celebrity image and the media.

 Osama 06.01.11, 2011

Artist Reception: Saturday, November 5th, 4-6pm
Portraits: 101 is a series of images made by collecting the first one hundred and one images I find while performing a Google image search of a particular subject's name on a specific day. The image searches are for particular celebrities, artists, sports figures, politicians, or spiritual leaders. Each subject is well known in his or her field, and at least 101 results were available for each online search.  Using Photoshop, I layer each of the 101, individual jpeg images to form an abstract, "meta-portrait." The result, while subtle, reinforces the collective idea or the essence of the publicly held image of that person. The portraits are time-specific since each Google search, performed on a certain day, yields a unique result.
Each of the drawings in this series, Drawn by the Hand Of, was made without brush or pen. Wearing rubber gloves I make from the casts of other people's hands, I dip the fingers of my gloved hand in ink and apply them directly to the paper to make marks. Each cast glove, with its unique shape and fingerprints, is conceptually related to the picture it has created: e.g., Michael Jackson "drawn by the hand of a young boy," Philip Garrido "drawn by the hand of a young girl," etc.  The subjects of the drawings range from pop stars to politicians to child molesters and serial killers. People whose faces or personas have somehow captured my and the public's imaginations. The gloves are drawing tools and a way for me to physically embody someone familiar to me. More importantly, the act of literally drawing with someone else's hand highlights and problematizes the relationship between the subject, the artist, and the viewer.
Catharine Clark Gallery
150 Minna Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Group Exhibition, New York

The Bank & Trust Show
March 18 to June 4, 2011

An Exhibition About the Economy, Trust, and Value in Today's Society 

Ray Beldner, Money Bags, 2011, sewn US currency, 16" x 14" x 12"

Opening Reception: Friday, March 18, 5:30-8pm
On View from Friday, March 18 - Saturday, June 4, 2011
Gallery Admission Free  •  Hours: Tue-Sat 12-5pm

Twenty-one contemporary artists comment on the economy, trust and value in today’s society through sculpture, drawing, photography, collage, video, installation, and performance art.  The exhibition takes place at the Arts Exchange, the historic People’s National Bank & Trust Company building in downtown White Plains, New York.

The Bank & Trust Show was conceived in part to mark the 10th Anniversary of The Arts Exchange’s adaptive re-use of a former bank into a cultural center for the residents of Westchester. It is curated by Dara Meyers-Kingsley, a former Director of Film and Video Collections at the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Participating artists include: Ray Beldner, Kim Beck, Jennifer Dalton, Chris Doyle, Joan Linder, Kambui Olujimi, Tom Otterness, Jean Shin, and Mark Wagner, among others.

The Bank & Trust Show
March 18 - June 4, 2011
31 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY
(914) 428-4220 x 330

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Portraits of George Washington at the De Young Museum

Ray Beldner, E Pluribus Unum (after Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, ca. 1854), 2005, Sewn US currency

 From the De Young Museum blog:

"Next Monday, the United States will celebrate Presidents’ Day, which takes place every year on the third Monday of February. This federal holiday is intended to honor all American presidents, and especially George Washington (1732–1799).

On that occasion the De Young Museum is highlighting three portraits of the first president of the United States from their collection. The first is Rembrandt Peale’s George Washington was painted around 1850, more than 25 years after his most well-known masterpiece: Washington, the Patriae Pater.

Peale’s standardized image of Washington went on to inspire generations of artists to create their own portraits of the United States’ first president. Peale himself was inspired by Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Washington (1795), which later served as the model for the portrait on the US one dollar bill. The mass-production of this bill has led to a more familiar and materialistic vision of the first president.

Ray Beldner, a native San Francisco artist, pointed out this duality—Washington as a symbol of American democracy and as a unit of national currency—in his piece named for the US national motto, E Pluribus Unum. Beldner created a facsimile of Rembrandt Peale’s portrait of George Washington (1854) by arranging 250 one dollar-bills. Therefore, he used bills, which are copies of Stuart’s portrait, in order to reproduce Peale’s copy of the same original. He kept in mind that copies make an original important. Thereby, the artist employed a common object from our daily life to refocus attention on a patriotic symbol."

For more information:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Video Interview

As part of the Prebles:Artforms Art History textbook, I was interviewed about my work by the book's author, Patrick Frank. Check it out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Group Exhibition, San Francisco

 Kind Stranger, 2007, neon, wood, 36" diameter

"Say Something!"

Bay Area Art/Performance/Multimedia
January 13th to February 19th, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 15th, 7-10pm
Closing Party: Thursday, February 7-10pm

E6 Gallery
1632 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 558-9975

Contact: Ashley Lauren Saks:
Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12 noon to 7pm and by appointment

Monday, December 6, 2010

Misappropriation Exhibition Opens During the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair


 Sarah 04.11.10, archival pigment print on paper, mounted on aluminum 48" x 48"

Artists Ray Beldner, Brendan Lott, Sonja Schenk, and Annie Seaton are pleased to announce their upcoming exhibition, Misappropriation. The pop-up show, which takes place during the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair, includes paintings, mixed media, digital prints, and small-scale installation all using and misusing found photo-based imagery. The exhibition will be on display at Studio Orange in Culver City, California from January 23-30, 2011.

Since the early collages of Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp’s use of found object for his series of “ready-mades,” artists have felt free to use, reproduce, appropriate and incorporate materials found within popular culture and society. These raw materials reflect and embrace the world around us: snippets of newspapers and magazines, film and TV excerpts, snapshots, advertisements, news headlines, bits of text, characters, fragments of song, and so on. Artists used this source material just as artists have used raw material for thousands of years. 

Now with the ubiquity of computers, digital cameras and the Internet, artists have access to the world’s greatest libraries, image databases, and interactive tools at their fingertips. As a result, traditional artistic practice is changing once again as artists explore the potential of these new technologies and incorporate them into their working methodologies. For each of these artists, the Internet and digital technology play a vital role in their creative processes.

Appropriation as an artistic practice and visual strategy is not new to contemporary artists, but the case that this exhibition makes is that the Internet enables a new kind of appropriation or borrowing, a “mis-appropriation” which is the intentional—sometimes humorous, sometimes dark—misuse of someone else's material. In this case, their images or their likenesses.

Each artist in the show collages images they have taken or found on the Internet or elsewhere, and they re-purpose and re-contextualize them in a way that reflects on their origins. They are in a sense “meta-images” misappropriated for the purpose, in part, to reflect on the picture’s original purpose and meaning.

Studio Orange, January 23 to January 30, 2011
Reception: Saturday, January 29 2011, 6-9pm

Studio Orange is located at:
8526 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Gallery Hours
: By Appointment Only


Annie Seaton   p: 310.621.5847   e:
Ray Beldner   p: 415.297.2319   e:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Recent Radio Interview

Last summer I gave an interview to University of Washington's NPR station, KUOW. The show was called "The Conversation" and the host was Ross Reynolds. That day's program was about rejection so they interviewed me about the exhibition I curated at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. Titled, It's Not Us, It's You, the show ran from April 3 to June 20, 2009.

It’s Not Us, It’s You was an exhibition that explored the inevitability of rejection in our lives.  Through a tragic and sometimes heartbreaking lens, the artists in the exhibition responded to the reality of rejection with subversion, self-reflection, humor and brutal honesty.

KUOW, "The Conversation," May 19, 2009