Years ago we remember seeing odd little books from the now-defunct High Risk imprint with titles like Dear Dead Person and The Roaches Have No King. What stuck with us was not the prose, though, but the original cover art, which blended the slick shine of high-gloss advertisements with gritty urban scenes. No surprise: Rex Ray was behind those. For more than 10 years, the S.F. artist has been a figure of both the fine art world, with his collages, resin panels, and paintings; and the design scene, with his book covers, rock posters, and all that stuff he did for David Bowie. You can even buy his work at Jonathan Adler stores. In the foreword of the new book Rex Ray: Art + Design, Douglas Coupland calls Ray's style "unslick, but superslick at the same time," and we're good with that. Now, in his sixth (!) solo exhibit at Gallery 16, "Rex Ray: New Paintings and Collage," Ray presents colorful, abstract pieces that toss into the pot a little fractal imagery, a little swirling '50s design, and a little otherworldly Hanna-Barbera botany.
Nov. 9-Dec. 22, 2007