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Charles Ray (born 1953)

The American artist Charles Ray has worked with film, photography, sculpture and installations to explore the notion of representation and to fuse the surreal with reality. Born in Chicago, he studied at the University of Iowa before completing a Masters degree in 1979 at Rutgers University, New Jersey. His early work was heavily influenced by the work of Anthony Caro and other abstract sculptors. He then began to incorporate his own body in his work which led to parallels being drawn with the Body Art movement. More recently he has exploited the readymade alongside aspects of mass culture. In his work, Ray deliberately subverts traditional classification – “[I was] trying to make something that was so abstract it became real or so real it became abstract”.