Joe Ray painting is acquired by Los Angeles County Museum of Art
"US," 1993 is now in LACMA's permanent collection
Oct. 9, 2020
The gallery is thrilled to announce that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has acquired Joe Ray's painting, US, 1993. This is the second work by the artist to join LACMA's permanent collection.
US was included in his recent exhibition, I Can Hear The Scream (on view in our gallery June 22 - August 30, 2020).
Ray's mixed media painting is tragically and irrevocably split in its meaning, suggesting a nation which has pretensions towards equality and inclusion, yet which always viciously fails at making its vast resources available to everyone. One side of the painting features the American flag, across from a gazelle head symbol of the African continent.
Spanning the dividing line is the symbol of the spade, equally capable of being a racial slur as well as being an open symbol that can transcend racist stereotypes, offering the high suit in a card game, a leaf, the tree of life, a spade for digging and planting, or even a spear point. Emerging into the composition is a painted yellow flower, which Ray describes as plants growing from cracks in the concrete, flowers that precede fruit.