Ray Ewing is a photographer and artist from the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Ray received a BFA in photography from Maine College of Art in Portland in 2012, he is currently completing an MFA in studio art at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Ray has worked as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, educator and an exhibiting artist.
As a photojournalist, Ray has received multiple awards for his work with the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette. His photographs have been published in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, Edible Vineyard, The Cape Cod Times, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. As an artist, Ray has been a part of multiple national and international group exhibitions as well as two solo shows entitled Visual Stimulus and Fauxasis.
Since I left my resort-town island home of Martha’s Vineyard, my work has been about exploring my relationship with that place. Obsessing over my connection to Martha’s Vineyard has led to in-depth investigations of tourism, leisure, and simulated beauty. My current project Fauxasis explores longing and land through self-portraiture, sculpture, and performance in real and simulated environments.
My search for strong symbols to communicate my simultaneous desire and disdain for leisure environments has led me to the adoption of the desert oasis as a visual metaphor. An oasis, like an island, is a space of illusion and seduction that operates by means of elemental contrast. The confluence of sand and water in such places triggers my sentiment for the beach. This is a physical reaction of pleasure as well as a childhood memory.
The pure blue of ocean and sky as well as the peachy-yellow glow of sand in the blazing sun, have come to dominate my new images as a transposition of the symbols of the beach onto my new desert surroundings in New Mexico. Interruptions in the representation of space, the appearance of scale, and adherence to photographic description seek to erode the ability of the images to document photographically and improve their ability to interpret visually.