Joe Ray was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, and arrived in Los Angeles in 1963. After he returned from Vietnam, he settled in Leimert Park; and began making resin-based sculpture. He first showed his artwork in the 1969 4th Annual Watts Summer Festival Art Exhibition; received the 1970 Young Talent Award from LACMA; then in 1973 received his BA from Cal Arts where he was mentored by John Baldessari and Nam June Paik. Joe Ray was one of 15 members of the original MOCA Artists Advisory Council from 1978-1980. His work has never been confined to a specific medium or style and has shifted between representation and abstraction, sculpture, painting, and photographs. His work is in the permanent collection of LACMA, where he was included in Made In California: Art, Image and Identity (1900 - 2000); and was notably included in L.A. Object & David Hammons Body Prints (2007) at Tilton Gallery (NY) and Roberts & Tilton (LA). Joe Ray received a 50-year survey, Complexion Constellation, at Diane Rosenstein Gallery in 2017. He lives and works in Los Angeles.