My current work explores and embodies grief as a normal, healthy, and integral, yet difficult and disheartening facet of human existence. The choice of collage for this exploration is intentional. The elements of chance and serendipity inherent in collage mirror the sometimes unpredictable pathways of grief. At the same time, the playfulness of collage allows for being surprised by joy.
My collages continue the whimsical layering of line, texture, color and meaning that featured in my earlier etchings. My earlier preoccupations with journeys and with Home as both a metaphor and a physical place, often incorporating maps, also continue. Where the earlier work was about odysseys and a search for home, now the protagonists more often have completed their journey and returned home.
A printmaker for over twenty years, Ray Maseman now works primarily in collage. Beginning in 2019, after a three year hiatus from all art-making, this collage work continues the playful layering of line, texture, color and meaning found in Maseman’s multiple plate etching work. Growing out of both the personal challenges of mid-life and the global challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, this work departs from his earlier etchings in a greater preoccupation with finding joy in the midst of grief.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Maseman grew up there and in Denver, Colorado, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the University of Denver. After over two decades in the deserts of New Mexico, he returned to Chicago, where he now produces collages in his Ravenswood studio. When not creating art, Maseman is a high school educator.
Maseman’s etchings and other works have been exhibited internationally and are in numerous public and private collections around the world. He has been featured in an episode of PBS’s ¡Colores! and Faroe Islands Podcast interviewed him after his 2013 residency in the Faroe Islands. He is also the co-author of New Grounds: The Manual for Non-Toxic Etching.
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