21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2018: Zech Ray


Zech Ray, Backyard Visitor, oil, 18 x 36.

Zech Ray, Backyard Visitor, oil, 18 x 36.

Art Education: I received my bachelor’s degree in drawing and painting from a small liberal arts college. While there I was fortunate enough to study with Harry Ahn, one of the university’s resident artists. I received a very strong foundation in drawing from him.

Style: An ideally executed painting for me is one in which the drawing is strong—all of the elements of the painting are where they’re supposed to be, but the paint and color is applied somewhat loosely.

Creative Spark: Light on form, interesting design, pattern and repetition. On an even more abstract level, though, I’ve found that the things I’m generally moved to paint are often the mundane and unnoticed trivialities of human lives.

One Thing People Don’t Know About You: I lived in Uganda for two years as a very young child.

Best Advice Received: Don’t be an artist.  It’s not what you imagine it’s going to be. Most artists never get rich or famous. It feels like work a lot more than it feels like fun, and you end up second-guessing yourself and your work almost constantly. You will probably never get the sort of recognition you want. With all that being said, if you still want to be an artist, this is absolutely the right profession for you.

Favorite Work by Another Artist: THE FOUNTAIN, VILLA TORLONIA, FRASCATI, ITALY by John Singer Sargent.

Future Goals: I would love to be able to transition to art-making full time.

Representation: www.zechray.com.

This story was featured in the September 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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