The Mental Health Journey by Ray

Artist Statement-

I’m Ray, my pronouns are they/them. I’m a junior in high school and I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I have been creating art since I can remember. My gallery “The Mental Health Journey” is something I’m excited to share.

Curatorial Statement-

We are pleased to announce an exhibition of digital paintings by Ray. Ray wanted us to know that just because a drawing is not realistic doesn’t mean it is not a good drawing, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worthy. The title of this exhibition sets us up for some truth- The Mental Health Journey. It is authoritative and knowing- almost instructional. If you want to know what is going on inside someone’s mind, or just under their skin, look at these pictures.  The things we can’t talk about, we act on. Art is the same way at times- art helps us share the things we can’t talk about.   

Ray likes anime- and one of their favorite characters is Shoto Todoroki from the manga series My Hero Academia, created by Kōhei Horikoshi. Shoto is a sullen and brooding character, a reluctant hero with dual “quirks” who is forced to embrace the superpower he does not want. Duality is all throughout Ray’s work- we see brightly colored, playful drawings with a subtext. Ray wants us to know that just because they appear to be happy, they are using this happiness as protection. 

Nearing the end of their high school, and thinking about their future, they are looking at a career as an art therapist.  Experience is a great teacher, and Ray’s works demonstrates a generosity of spirit and a desire to share and help others, which in my estimation must be why they feel called to this occupation. Heroes often are the people you find in everyday encounters. Having experienced Ray’s works and through them, coming to understand their journey, has put Ray in the ranks of my heroes. 

-Natalia Sacasa, Curator, Owner, Meantime Co. Bushwick, Brooklyn

Inner Beauty, 13″x13″, Digital Media

My Bed, My Home, 13″x13″, Digital Media

Untitled 3, 13″x13″, Digital Media

Suffrage Can Be Silent, 13″x13″, Digital Media

Untitled 2, 13″x13″, Digital Media

Untitled 1, 13″x13″, Digital Media

Untitled 4, 13″x13″, Digital Media