2016 Copyright © Renee Rey. All rights reserved.
Renée Rey is an award winning, interdisciplinary artist, from upstate New York and NYC, now living and working in SW Florida. Spiritually charged, her fusion of expressionist and surrealist paintings, mixed-media pieces, and digital artwork respond to cultural and environmental democratization and sustainability for 21st century generations living in an age of social and political polarization, conflict, and change. Grounded in a multi-cultural Jewish/Christian/French/Armenian background, and birth place in Japan, Rey makes artwork relevant for our age by intersecting timely issues of diversity, identity, environmental and cultural sustainability and existential questions of existence and purpose. She speaks fearlessly through her work, yet creates a poetic vagueness for the viewer that intentionally encourages visual freedom, creative thinking, and a new experience in discovering art and global concerns.
In her studio practice, Rey challenges traditional notions of art, nature and the written word. In her new series, “Democratization of the Ecosystem, There is no hierarchy,” she utilizes innovative visual iconography, a repetition of abstracted cloud formations with mystical overtone. They are reimagined from digital photos of cloud formations of her travels and memories since childhood. The spirit of iconic mountains and rock formations from her multi-cultural heritage, and 4) Colorado artist residency in August 2016 are juxtaposed with drawings of the periodic table, speaking to the commingling of science and spirituality. In the series, "Who Are You?," script sculpted out of paper becomes a 3-D organic element that plays with perception and planes, and informs language by evolving from printed form to sculptural form. Requiring mirrors to be read, the script becomes an interactive journey challenging the viewer to participate in identity. From the primordial, to ancient times to modern technology, she continues to research the connection between a past, present, and future paradigm through painting, drawing, and digital art.
With a nod to Salvador Dali, Lucien Freud, Larry Rivers, and traditional Japanese art, her artwork references art historical genres and subject matter, biblical verse and philosophy, rabbinic tradition, and the written word in Hebrew, English, French, Armenian, and Arabic to explain the modern world. Part aggressive process and part peaceful improvisation, she intuitively builds an emotive mood and unique world driven by a colorful imagination, inspired memories, deep beliefs, and manipulated source materials that take on a surprising life of their own.
Rey was awarded Best in Show in a national juried exhibit, March 2017, by Jurors Jade Dellinger, Director, Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, Fort Myers, FL, Alejo Benedetti, Curatorial Assistant, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR and Mallory O’Connor, Professor of Art History, Emerita, Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL. Zoe Larkins, Associate Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO selected her work for a national juried exhibit in Fort Collins, CO in May 2017. Rey has also been included in exhibits by Erin Wright, Curator at Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, Gisela Carbonell, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Special Collections, Artis-Naples, Baker Museum, Naples, FL, Rebecca Wilson, Chief Curator and VP, Art Advisory, Saatchi Art, and Susan Welsh, Executive Director, Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA. During the month of August, 2016, she was invited to attend Sun Peak Center for Art and Sustainability, Colorado Springs, CO, overlooking the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Her work has been exhibited nationally, and is in private collections internationally. Rey teaches classes in acrylic, oil, mixed media, charcoal and figure drawing for adults.
Rey has studied fine art, design, experimental sound design, and performance on the undergraduate level and cutting edge digital art and film and video on the graduate level. She holds undergraduate degrees in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, and Jewish Studies, University at Albany, Albany, NY, a Masters in Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY, and an MBA in Business Management, Concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.
"Connection to people around the world and to cultural and environmental sustainability is inextricably woven into the fabric of my personal diversity, identity, culture, and spirituality."