Friday, September 4, 2009

ArtsBuzz: West Palm artist makes his own kind of fashion statement

Ray Neubert in the dress that started it all.

By Katie Deits

When he slipped into the white-lace wedding dress and adjusted the veil on his balding head, a diminutive Raymond P. Neubert stepped into another dimension of his life.

Seventeen more of his friends and acquaintances followed suit while Neubert photographed the experience and evolving personas, taking more than 100 pictures of each person. Although the small-framed Neubert easily fit into the petite dress, most of his subjects were not able to fasten the zipper. But they posed eagerly for the photos.

The 69-year-old native of Dearborn, Mich., current West Palm Beach resident and retired art teacher describes himself as a “subreal” artist who “explores the relationships between his major art forms of painting, assemblage, photography, and poetry in playful and profound ways to find the reality beneath the surface.”

When he spotted the wedding dress at a Goodwill store, he was inspired to photograph all ages and types of people wearing the strapless dress. He not only probes what the subject is thinking and feeling, but also makes a comment about how our culture perceives marriage.

Starting with photographs from his Olympus point-and-shoot cameras, Neubert deconstructs poster-size prints before reconstructing them with acrylic washes into abstract mixed-media works ranging in size from a tiny 3-inch-by-5-inch print to a mural-sized 3-foot-by-5-foot image.

Coffee-Mate, by Ray Neubert.

With The Wedding Dress Project, Neubert has caught the attention of galleries and, because of his charming sense of humor, peaceful life philosophy and “can-do attitude,” he may also have won some attention on the national television scene.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s production company held auditions recently in Miami for a new reality show competition among contemporary artists. Billed as The Untitled Art Project, it will feature 13 aspiring artists who will compete for cash prizes, a gallery show and a sponsored national tour. Although theoretically sworn to secrecy, Neubert said he is a Miami semifinalist for the upcoming Bravo reality show.

However, you won’t have to wait for the television debut to see 35 works from Neubert’s wedding dress series at the Windisch-Hunt fine arts gallery in historic Coconut Grove. The exhibit's opening takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, with an artist’s reception and book signing of Neubert's photo-book on the series.

Gallery owner AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt met Neubert at the auditions for the reality show and was impressed with him, his concept and his work. The show is curated by Mona Mandall of Miami International University of Art & Design and runs through Sept. 30. Windisch-Hunt is located at 2911 Grand Ave. in Coconut Grove. For more information, call (772) 480-3131 or visit www.subrealart.com.


Bob, by Ray Neubert.

3 comments:

PHF said...

Congratulations Ray!
Pat Festino

Don Durfee said...

Ray,
You know that I am inspired by your work and attitude. Now I am excited about your vision and the success it is bringing you! Congratulations!
Don Durfee

Karla said...

this looks like a great exhibiiton! Also the support of the gallery and Bravo network for artists of all ages!