Rex Ray's Time Warp

Time keeps on shifting, and sometimes it's hard to know where you are in the retro-futuristic universe.

By Kristin Belz November 17, 2012

Designer Rex Ray is a crossover artist – as in, fine art/hip decor, original and retro all at once – so it’s especially fitting that his home decor and artwork are based on collage, both literal and metaphorical. Collage is the ultimate crossover – items from one place and time crossing over to another. It’s a reuse, creating a new context for old things, overlapping bits and pieces of things in space but also in time.

Ray’s home accessories include fun and fabulous pillows that you’d swear are made of old fabrics from the mid-1950s. But no, they’re just his take on the swirly, ovoid, futuristic/organic forms that were so popular in much of the graphic design and home décor made in the mid-twentieth century. (DQtrs produces five Ray designs as a limited edition series of 18" x 18" jacquard weave pillows.) 

Ray literally uses collage for everything from lamps to wall tiles – so literally that his collages incorporate literature, or at least text snippets of books and  magazines.  For instance, random black and white printed strips of text are chosen for their graphic quality, and used behind glass subway tiles. (modwalls makes Ray’s 4” x 12” Lush glass tiles for Rex Ray Studios.)

Wallpaper, too, takes on a collage feel. Some of Ray's earliest works were small scale, colorful paper cut-out collages (what he's called haiku-like graphics), and his wallpaper designs (for Flavorpaper) show that DNA. They are firmly entrenched in a time-traveling, retro vision of what in the mid-20th century was a bright and shiny future. Ray's buoyant biomorphic forms frolic like it's 1955.

(You might even find some Rex Ray items at a discount this week; they're available a web only pop-up shop at Fab this week, though the stock is going fast.)

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