Here’s another hand-to-the-forehead discovery about a native of Colorado Springs who went on to become an amazing artist: Rex Ray (neé Michael Patterson) was born in 1956 and grew up in Colorado Springs. Like so many before and since, he left in his teens and moved straight to San Francisco, spent his 20s and 30s doing graphic design for record labels, for which he became quite famous (Bowie, The Rolling Stones, etc.). Then one day he realized he decided he wanted to do whatever he wanted to do and began to make design-y collages from magazines. And so began his second career doing giant painting/collage/designs that charm the eye even as they persistently defy a defined medium.

Here are a couple of videos about Ray, the second of which is from a documentary titled “How to Make a Rex Ray,” which you can purchase HERE.

Rex Ray from Post & Grant on Vimeo.

Note to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center: Please get a Rex Ray show! Thanks.


7 Responses to Artist Rex Ray: Native Son

  1. Mary Ellen Davis says:

    What an amazing body of work–and a great story! Thanks for bringing this to us.

  2. mike procell says:

    I couldn’t help but notice the statue of Jesus on his shelf.

  3. Jennifer Dunaway says:

    I second the motion to get a Rex Ray show here, FAC!

  4. Kathye Pebley says:

    I would love to see Rex Ray again.

  5. Anne Lennox says:

    So, Noel, when will the FAC have the Rex Ray show?

  6. Daisy McConnell says:

    Holy moly!!! I had no idea, his work is fantastic. Thanks BS!

  7. kay johnson says:

    Got a book on his years ago and was surprised to see he went to UCCS. Lots of talent that CS does not shout about for some reason- Rex Ray, Louis Cicotello, Senga Nengudi, Margaret Kilgallen, Gus Lee, Frank Waters, Floyd Tunson, Dave Mason, even Tesla. Lots to shout about! Would be wonderful to be known as the town these extremely creative
    folks live/have lived in instead of the home of political/religious fanatic types.


October 4, 2015 | NPR · A hospital was hit while U.S. forces were conducting an airstrike in the Afghan city; the aid group says 22 people were killed. NATO has said that it will conduct an investigation into the attack.

October 4, 2015 | NPR · The U.S. and NATO have spent years in Kunduz, Afghanistan, building communities to keep insurgents out. Two who were there 12 years ago describe how it felt this week when the Taliban retook the city.

October 4, 2015 | NPR · Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he’s a better choice for the job than Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Arts & Life

October 4, 2015 | NPR · Theater critic Michael Riedel dishes some juicy backstage anecdotes in his new book about Broadway’s Shubert Organization, but fails to bring its deal-makers and their troubles to convincing life.

October 4, 2015 | NPR · Fear The Walking Dead is telling a story not often explored on prime-time television: generational rifts over the violence that immigrant parents have experienced.

Courtesy of the Kerlan Collection
October 4, 2015 | NPR · Once a doctor’s hobby, the Kerlan Collection is now one of the world’s great collections of children’s literature. Over 100,000 books offer visitors a chance to see the writer’s process — for free.


Courtesy of the artist
October 4, 2015 | NPR · A one-time pop sensation, the singer and composer made a deft pivot to theater with his Tony-winning music for Spring Awakening. These days, he’s exploring the electronic music of his youth.

October 3, 2015 | NPR · Tom Waits lays down his belief in mole democracy and New York City surrealism in a recently unearthed, freshly animated interview on PBS.

Important Records
October 3, 2015 | NPR · Jacobs’ achievements are almost too diverse to list: a humorist, record producer, sound designer and radio host, he achieved little fame but was a catalyst for giant steps in the worlds he touched.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac