Dan Ray Biography
I developed my own still photo-collaging technique to enhance, or elevate, the everyday subject matter of the photographs. I wanted to “reconstruct” the presentation of the photos in a way that would help viewers find the intrinsic beauty of the ordinary objects in the photos by presenting them in a new form.
When I started working with ceramics and sculpture, and designing art for surfboards, I explored ways to integrate my camera work with other art mediums. I began mixing photo prints, rice paper, acrylics, oils and other materials with lithography and silk-screening methods to develop a unique photo-collage technique.
This is a spontaneous, often experimental process. I arrange still photos I had taken on the street, in my studio, or elsewhere, and juxtapose them randomly on wood or canvas. Then I apply paint or other materials, using silkscreen and various techniques, to create a transformed image of the original stills – a form that invites the viewer to draw their own conclusion, be amused or not, find meaning or not.
As a photographic artist, I continually look for ways to create my own path in this medium and find more effective language to connect with viewers. This still photo-collaging technique is another step on that path. One of my goals is to exhibit these photo collages and start getting them out into the world.
Daniel’s fascination with still life photography began early, while growing up in San Diego, California. A local junkyard was the unlikely source of inspiration for finding beauty in ordinary objects. He started noticing the quality of light and began understanding composition by studying the random pieces of scattered metal and other objects in the yard. He carried a camera with him at all times, shooting objects that caught his eye in the streets, store windows, at home, or anywhere.
His talent as a photographer led to a scholarship at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. He also studied sculpture and painting at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Eager to become a professional, he opened a studio in Los Angeles and began shooting assignments for commercial and advertising clients. Over time, his clients began utilizing his fine art talents to design their ads, CD covers and movie posters.
However, Daniel realized he had a passion for transforming his still photographs into another art form that would give them greater impact on their viewers. He developed a photo-collaging method that combined various materials with applied lithography, silk-screening and other techniques to create his own unique style of photo collaging.
His mixed-media photo creations have received a number of awards, including “Best in Show” from Alt Pick Magazine, Communication Arts Magazine and American Photographic Artists Association, New York Addy Awards and Photo District News.
Daniel’s still-photography collages have been exhibited in galleries in New York and Los Angeles, and featured in various national publications. He has also done commissioned photo collage work for private collectors.
Dan’s goal as a photographic artist is to continue exploring his artistic path and finding ever-more effective language to connect with viewers.