Ray Caesar, Eclectix Interview 62




Ray Caesar, An  Eclectix Artist Interview

Ray Caesar creates gorgeously haunting combinations of the rococo, the romantic and contemporary surreal imagery, with bits of more modern fashions and sexual fetish. His artistic influences reference the French rococo, variations on the theme of the fête champêtre (which featured figures in ball dress or masquerade costumes disporting themselves amorously in parkland settings), Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, Dali and the Dutch painters.

Ray worked for years in the art & photography department of the Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto, documenting disturbing cases of child abuse, surgical reconstruction, psychology and animal research. Caesar’s experiences at the hospital continue to influence and shape his art. He works digitally, using 3D modeling software called Maya, mastered while working in animation for the television and film industries.



ray caesar profile Eclectix interview


We noticed a recent beautiful work “Compass” (below), which is quite a departure from your usual style… any thoughts on this?

I often do small study pieces that aren’t as well-known, that are more painterly or roughly formed, as they are studies. There are several in older shows but they don’t get as much attention as the big prints.





What medium do you prefer to produce your art?

I like to think my medium is ink and pigment on paper and my method as digital, using 3D modeling software, but l do work in multiple mediums and methods.

My favorite art memory from my childhood is …

I painted a very pretty picture of a Giant when I was 6 years old in England. I had to show it to the entire school and later when I brought the picture back to the classroom I threw up on it, I barfed all over it… I still don’t like showing my work very much.






When I was a little kid, I wanted to be …

A sort of cross between Batman and Lauren Bacall, a Pan Am space airline stewardess, and James Bond….all mixed together in a very tight spandex outfit that had nothing to hide. I still sort of want to be the same thing.

My interest in art started …

Before I can remember and probably around the time I found out that pens and pencils made marks on walls and other surfaces. I didn’t know what “Art” was though until I got a little book by Salvador Dali.






An interesting bit of history surrounding one of my distant relatives is …

My name Caesar comes from an Italian surgeon Cesare Adelmare (-1569) who was physician to Queen Elizabeth I and knighted by her as “Sir Julius Caesar”. I am directly related to his brother (as his lineage died out). His brother, who also took on the name “Caesar”, was a chemist and probable assassin in the same court… sort of the first James Bond.

Did you know 007 is not a number but really a symbol of the queen’s glasses and meant “For Her Eyes Only”?

There is a book on Italians in Queen Elizabeth’s court that documents the name of Caesar through its short history. My ancestors were exchequers of the state, Mayors, heads of universities and also famous cricketers of the 18th century. Caesar was actually a very uncommon name in London in 1903 during the fist census, as only two families had the name … both related to me and directly related to Cesar Adelmare. I even have the same genetic medical condition as several of my ancestors.






Do you work full-time on your art? 

I work full-time on it but my wife still thinks I should do some other jobs around the house as my idea of “Full Time” is not hers. I tell her that I need to relax on the couch and come up with ideas and she looks at me with one eyebrow raised higher than the other.

I am often inspired and motivated by …

My wife Jane. She inspires and motivates me to get up off the couch and get stuff done.






If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be …

Probably Salvador Dali and we would probably chat a lot about what it’s like to be Dead, because if I met a dead person that is the first thing I would ask. I love so many artists from the past but I often wonder if they would be good company as I might find myself making excuses to get going and catch up later. I think Dali may have been pompous and tedious but I will still want to talk to him… even if he was dead.

The art technique (or a specific product) that has helped me the most is ….

A company called Autodesk makes the software Maya that I use. I know a good friend who works there and I love their technical people who make some amazing tools for artists.






If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be …

Francis Bacon’s – Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion.

My current favorite piece of my own art is …  

The one I am just about to work on.  Because…  All the others have become history. The one I am going to work on, is still a mystery.

A creative idea or design that I would have liked to have created is …

Artificial Intelligence, because human intelligence has just not been up to snuff lately. Unlike some others, I think AI might do a better job at many things we find difficult. And even if it doesn’t feel Empathy, I think it might understand Empathy and interact with us knowing we need to function in this world with it.






When I evaluate whether an idea is good or not, the most important element is …

How I “Feel” about it. The idea has to affect me on an instinctive emotive level and stir my passions. It doesn’t matter what it means but it matters how it makes me feel. It has to work in a multitude of ways in color, composition, story, energy and gut feeling…. it has to work! And if it doesn’t, I wait and bide my time until it does as I don’t choose … it does.

The most memorable thing anyone has ever said to me about my art is …

It’s not what they said – but in my very first show, a very sweet lady called Susie cried honest tears when she looked at my work. I gave her a hug and it occurred to me that there might be more in my work than what I put there. That it’s just not what I see but what the viewer sees of themselves in my work. That was both surprising and humbling to me and I will never forget that moment – as the point when a person looks at my work, it ceases to be “mine” – they add their feelings and interpretations and reactions … that’s what I think Completes Art.






My ultimate project or fantasy is …

I have a dissociative condition where I live part of my life in a fantasy world and I have spent years in therapy for this brutal condition. All of my work is part of another world or “paracosm” that I have been building in my head since childhood. It’s the life I live when I am not living in what everyone else calls “the real world”. My paracosm is as complex as J.R. Tolkien’s world. Anyone can see it by looking into the windows I create in my pictures. I have no projects… I am just trying to survive.






I am currently working on …. 

My work is always an attempt at the next piece. To try to make a better version of what I see in my mind’s eye than previous attempts. To improve not just my art but my “self” and to grow and become more than what I was yesterday. I am currently working on my Life! And my work is just a mere reflection of that life.

A specific event in my life that sparked a number of my works was …

I worked for 17 years in a children’s hospital doing a very difficult job in their medical photography dept. It challenged me to come to terms with my own difficult and abusive childhood and realize that my work is a way for me to live my life, doing what I love for those children that never got a chance to do what they would have loved to do in life. A part of me now lives my life for them, so I have to achieve all the things I want to do and treat this life as a gift.






My opinions on “Art” have really changed over the years, because ….

I used to think Art was something you liked or didn’t like hanging on a wall, but now I realize that all “Art” is a mystery and amazing and a form of deep communication from our subconscious to our conscious mind about feeling. Life without “Art” would make our species a very smart, very dangerous, cold, predatory, atrocity! Which is part of who we are now, but try taking away “Art, Music, Stories, Dance and Poetry”!!! This would make us not even recognize ourselves and be disgusted at the infinitely increased pain and suffering we already cause. Art helps us feel emotions, passions and regrets and those feelings can sometimes be bad, but when they are good, our species can achieve amazing, wonderful and beautiful things.

Something I always recognized in myself is that I love all Art, even what people call “bad art”. I don’t think there is anything bad about creating what you love and understanding the joy and wondrous attempt to make real in this world, what only your mind can see.






If I could time travel – the era or historical date I would like to drop in on is …

The Future, because I think it would have better healthcare and hopefully more comfortable transportation. I am an optimist at heart and even with our problems, I think we are going to have an amazing future. I love the past but I know the past… I really like looking back but I truly love what is ahead as the future is a wonderful mystery.



Ray Caeser-www.kaifineart.com-6



If I became a billionaire, I would spend the money on …

Fixing the planet and helping animals. I have all that I want and most of that, money can’t buy. My sister died of a cruel cancer and even billions of dollars wouldn’t have helped her. This Planet is hurting and we are cruel to the other life on this little blue planet and I think I would like to try to help find ways for our species to co-exist and heal this beautiful world.

The last song I choose to listen to was …

I Love to Love by Tina Charles

The last book I couldn’t put down was …

‘Artificial Weightlessness’ by Andy Gravity



ray caesar eclectix interview



My favorite character in a work of fiction is … 

Anne Elliot, from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Because she is a good, kind, wise and moral person in a story about the redemption of love and the power of love, when all hope has gone. She is also the literal literary representation of my one true love in life – my wife and friend of over 40 years.

One of my favorite words is …

Happy. It’s the one single word I have never really understood, but I keep trying.

One of my favorite smells is …

The smell of a Christmas Dinner cooking in the Oven.






One of my (recently) favorite movies/TV shows is …

Elementary with Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller. I think it is one of the best shows and adaptations of Sherlock Holmes I have ever seen. I love Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone and Benedict Cumberbatch, but the adaptation of Elementary is very good.

I can’t live without …

Avocados. Oh! My wife just reminded me I can’t live without her and my dog Finnegan… then Avocados.

It’s not hip, but I really love …

Star Trek… to boldly go where no one has gone before. I once lined up at University of Toronto to watch James Doohan (Scotty) give a lecture on the brand new space shuttle back in the 1980s. Outside in the line-up, a few hundred students, mostly engineers, quietly hummed the theme song to Star Trek in the bitter cold and I am glad to count myself as one of them. I also shook Scotty’s hand. I also saw the jumbo 747 fly over my office window with the space shuttle Enterprise on its back … I cried in a corner as I was at work, but that day was very important to me.






My favorite part in my home is …

My basement in a home I own but I don’t live all the time… it’s sort of urban cottage. The basement is lined in silver insulation and is the cleanest room on the Planet Earth, as I even polish the furnace and water heater. It has a cold room, wine cellar, a workshop and an entire kitchen. I love the basement as I build lots of things down there and I think I could survive a nuclear war or zombie outbreak as it’s very cosy.

If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be…

The Amalfi Coast in Italy because I think it’s beautiful and romantic. Actually I could live anywhere in Italy and be quite content.

My favorite motto (or quote) is …

“Get back up and try again.”



 - Link to Ray’s Website -







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