Ray Caesar (born October 26, 1958) is an English digital surreal artist who lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
I create models in a three dimensional modeling software called Maya and cover these models with painted and manipulated photographic textures that wrap around them like a map on a globe. Each model is then set up with a invisible skeleton that allows me to pose and position the figure in its three dimensional environment. Digital lights and cameras are added with shadows and reflections simulating that of a real world.
First the models are sculpted similar to pushing and pulling the surface of a piece of clay. I am often reminded of being in preschool with my huge chunk of Plasticine. I once modeled a Plasticine shoe but my father forbade me to wear it in public. I then create an inner structure of joints similar to a skeleton that allows me to pose the figure with a spine, shoulders, elbows and even finger joints. Many heads are modeled with many a different expression and these can be blended to create a subtle look similar to the one my wife has when I have done something suspicious.
I color the models first in a very simple way, then each surface in the model is wrapped with a texture that may be painted digitally such as a flower petal or from a digital photograph such as a wood surface. I collect textures the way some people collect little silver spoons and I have a story about each texture in my collection such as the one about my father's hip operation scar or the picture I convinced my gastroenterologist to give me of the inside of my colon. My favorite textures to collect are skin textures, as I have a legitimate excuse to ask people to expose large areas of bare skin.
As my work is printed I am often asked about my original, but it exists only in the computer in a dimensional world of depth, width and height. I am fascinated by the concept that this 3 dimensional space exists much as another reality and even though I turn the computer off, I am haunted by the fact that this space is still there existing in a mathematical probability, and the space that we live in now might not be all that different.