William Denton Ray's Configurations

“There is a sort of celestial, spirit-like quality to a few...not of this earth type figures and beings. “

For the First Friday of September, Indianapolis native William Denton Ray’s new show “Configurations” will be revealed in the Harrison Gallery.  William, whose past work can be viewed on his website "Whimsical Funk" or in his studio at the Harrison Center, is known for his funky designs. He works as a designer for Sun King Brewing Company when not creating his unusual characters.  

This show includes about 40 new original mixed media paintings.  “I wanted to get away from my typical work (faces) and challenge myself to work abstractly. I wanted to get looser with the paint, not control it, let it lead me.” His new show incorporates more neutral and earth tones than his past work as well as a different technique that involves collage.   

  Cosmos, Acrylic and Collage on Canvas 18" x 24"

Cosmos, Acrylic and Collage on Canvas 18" x 24"

“After drawing and painting faces for so long it was time for a change and what better way than to abstract my characters even further and then to zoom out of the picture [...] and reveal these mysterious and ghost-like figures.” Inspiration for this show included nature and color as well as an interest in the beyond.

Ray was a student of the Columbus College of Art and Design in addition to the Herron School of Art and Design. He has had a studio at the Harrison Center for the past nine years and has been working on his new show for the last 6-8 months. He typically starts with a drawing of an idea which might develop into a painting.  He uses a "create and destroy" method to reach a place where his vision combines with abstraction and the strange.

Ray's art has been collected and displayed in the United States and around the world including France and Australia. His bold color choices, adventurous faces and alluring shapes all combine together to create Whimsical Funk.

  Sycamore Ghosts, Acrylic on Canvas 18" x 24"

Sycamore Ghosts, Acrylic on Canvas 18" x 24"

Configurations opens Friday, September 7 (6:00-10:00 PM) and hangs through September 28. Come experience a unique abstract world where color twists and turns to create a landscape to the past and the present.

Trisha Martin