One of my favorite artist for many reasons!! He is intelligent and his work captivates me...it connects to my eyes and my soul and can not let go!! I can stare at his art for hours!!
I introduce you to....Raymond Pilar....ARTIST, INTELLECT, AND A HEART OF GOLD with a great sense of humor!!
Sanctuary's Gate © R.Pilar
Z: As an artist what inspires you the most?
RAY: My head is constantly filled with ideas. Being an artist is like one who has their house on fire. Ideas are like belongings, and you have only so much time in this life to choose which ideas to drag out of the fire and do before your time is up.
There seems to be this underlining idea in present society that artists base their work on personal experiences and their work revolves around them but that does not hold true for the most part...depends on the artist in question. I'm more like a director or a composer chosing varied subject matter for a movie or opera with my work. I'm inspired by history, culture...the mystical that goes bump in the night deep within the faith in ones soul.
My work takes an old Renaissance approach in deciding subject matter which usually has an epic theme to it and then being a child of the modern age, I sprinkle the epic with elements of popular culture which run deep in our present environment of expression.
Z: You once did a commission piece for a band? Tell us about it
RAY: Did some work once for the British recording artists The Outfield. Two LP covers and some backdrops. Always liked the group and they where a class act to work with. It really is a different mode of working though, because your more of a tool for their creative vision and not really your own. One also is dealing with record labels, so sometimes if the group likes the work, it does not mean that it will be used or kept the same if the label has a different idea for how they wish to present what they consider a product. I was fortunate with The Outfield to have a group which had more control at a point in their career where they had chosen a smaller label to so they could retain control and it was not about the money with them but the music they wanted to make and how to present it. John Spinks, the guitarist, loves art and really respected my ideas and the lead singer, Tony Lewis, often did doodles while killing time on tour, so they where a receptive group of guys that allowed more input from the artist than what might normally be the case.
Z: Who is your favorite artist?
RAY: I'm old school in my appreciation and always liked Raphael Sanzio's work, though my work might not suggest it on the surface. I'm also a big fan of the work which was done by the symbolist painter Gustave Moreau, who was actually the mentor of Matisse for a period of time. Like Moreau, my foundation is very Renaissance in its beginings but then what I choose to furnish my artistic house with does not exactly meet Italian Renaissance fashion choices lol. I love the relations of music to the visual arts and Wassily Kandinsky's book "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" was a huge influence on me. I'm not a huge fan of Kandinsky's paintings, but his ideas of how painting can be like music where a driving force in allowing me to find my own mode of expressing a concept he touched on. It was not a new concept when he approached it. It had been touched on by the composer Richard Wagner with his idea of the art of the future where all the arts would feed off each other (Wagner would have loved film) and even going farther back to the Baroque period, Bernini cited often a creative effort where all the arts related to form a creative vision that built ones work. I work large scale, like 6' by 10' ft. or larger, so when one steps back and can no longer see the figurative/symbolic details, one takes in the design's pattern and color much as one might be able to envision the affects of music if that is possible.
Z: And genre to read?
RAY: I like to read the classics. I enjoy epic works of literature, much like the themes which inspire my work. I adore Russian literature and I am one of those people who have read Tolstoy's War and Peace three times running and plan to do it again. Reading Tolstoy, or someone like the french author Victor Hugo, is like cheating fate and being able to live a extra life because the content is so rich and with so much depth. The beauty of being human is that like all which exists on this plane of existence, we change with every rising sun and every time you read something you get something new out of it because your never exactly the same person you where the day before. I have often said that if I met myself 20 years ago that there might have been a fight because I'm very passionate about things and I'm wired a little different now then back then when I was young and full of it. Life is a great teacher, but it is long romance of tough love with all the failures and triumphs. I do also like to read works which are not considered that high browed, a big fan of the Monty Python train of thought and have read everything by Douglas Adams of The Hitchhickers To The Galaxy fame. Though I'm into someone like Dostoyevsky, I also think David Lee Roth of the group Van Halen is one of the greatest philosophers of our time. The main thing about artists in general, me or anyone who is creative is that we have many levels to us and are not some cartoon character who only thinks and acts one way. Artists deal with many different subject matters, some serious and some not so much, be it in what they create or enjoy by others. You only have one life. I chose to go on tangents and take the sceanic routes off the beaten path of what might not be practical. I still get where I am going, or at least hope I will, but I'm going to get the full bang for my buck...especially since the cultural dollar seems to have suffered more than the monotary one of late with all the reality TV and American Idol formats of entertainment.
The Cloister © R.Pilar
Z: You have an exhibition coming up...give us all the details!!
RAY: Yes, I'm donating some work for auction in the Los Angles area in the upcoming month to benefit children with cancer. Artists are seers and scribes of their culture, they document and talk about through their art what means something, what has worth and cancer is a shadow which affects all of us which is worthy of discussion. I did not get into this profession for money, I do it because that is the gift the divine being blessed me with and I do not walk this earth alone. Artists are a strange breed, we often live a life of the hermit locked away in our studio creating but in our isolation we are attempting to represent the masses.
Raymond thank you so much for stopping by and allowing me to share your amazing visions!!
You are truly blessed!!
See Raymond Pilar here!!