Ray Caesar was born in 1958 in London, UK and is celebrated as the grandfather of digital art. At an early age, his family moved to Toronto, Canada, where he currently lives and works. Caesar’s vision resonates with the changing psyche of his figures, reflecting memories of his childhood and experiences gathered over 17 years working in the art therapy department of the Hospital for Sick Children.
His work is collected by the Hearst Family, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, Madonna, the Bristol Museum and selected by the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Modern Art New York & Guggenheim New York.
“I began using children as my subjects when I was a child and perhaps it was my own innocence I was trying to hide and protect. For me I see our species as a child – we are young and we make mistakes and we are in some ways our own symbols or archetypes of spiritual growth. Our species has a lot to learn.
I also feel the adult is precariously balanced on the shoulders of the child we once were. It was that little ancestor who learned to walk and talk and create and survive and I feel my own inner child like my predecessor. Also, working 17 years in a children’s hospital and watching children not get their chance at life humbles me.
I didn’t show any work until I was 45 as I didn’t think of it as Art but more of a time consuming obsession. I am not sure if my figures are children as to me they seem like a kind of spiritual essence that is part of the fabric of who I am and will be until the day I die. If I could use a word for it I would describe it as a kind of possession or perhaps….Haunting!” – Ray Caesar