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  • Ray Monde

This week I was profiled on CANVAS, the Saatchi Art blog. Here’s an excerpt.

Meet the Others: Ray Monde

The Game Changers. The Rule Breakers. The Innovators. Discover some of the fantastic emerging talent showcasing their work at The Other Art Fair.

Ray Monde‘s latest works are inspired by the streets of Los Angeles and the people who shape the suburbs around them. Created for The Other Art Fair Los Angeles 2020 and now being showcased as part of the Online Studios, they capture the heat and jammed brilliance of the daylight.

Artist Ray Monde in his studio in Seattle

All the titles of the works are driven by incredible LA poets including Wanda Coleman, Randall Jarrell, Bertolt Brecht, DJ Waldie, Garrett Hongo and Dana Gioia. Some of the streets and suburbs that influenced these artworks include Sloan Street in Compton; Douglas Street in Angelino Heights; Alonzo Avenue and Zelzah Avenue in Encino; Copa de Oro Road in Bel Air, and North Anita Avenue in Brentwood.

Tell us about who you are and what you do. What is your background? 

I am an Australian-born, contemporary paper artist. As a kid I used to plaster my bedroom with pictures from magazines. Those early days with paper and glue sparked a deep connection with the tactile nature of paper.

My art practice continues to be paper-based. While my early works were carefully cut images from magazines, I moved to creating color palettes of torn colors from glossy magazines. This forces me to economize in color and creates serendipitous moments when part of a printed images becomes something else entirely.

There is an element of destruction and rebirth in my work – destroying the glossy magazines of my former advertising life to create something entirely new. I used to be an advertising creative, working in ad agencies in Sydney, London and New York, then decided to give it away to do what I always really wanted to do – create art.


What are the major themes you pursue in your work? 

For me, all my works have to tell a story. There’s a narrative that I’m pursuing when I create a work, but I also love other people’s interpretations of my work. I’m totally intrigued by what they see in what I have created. My works generally have a bright color palette, all my collage uses a broad color panes in the background on which I build up layers of textured paper to create the work.

While the artworks are bright, they often carry a darker story. My works that sold out at The Other Art Fair in Sydney, explored our collective childhood experiences, which aren’t always happy ones. From there, I’ve been exploring the myths of suburban life. I like to call these works suburban gothic, we grow up in suburbs, they nurture us, but for many of us, we can’t wait to escape them. I also like to think of our back yards and balconies as performance stage, where we live out all our hopes and dreams in these small spaces, where all our neighbor’s are unwitting voyeurs. The narrative behind the Streets of Los Angeles series that I’ve most recently put together can be found here.

Artwork by Ray Monde of young African American outside LA house

How did you first get interested in your medium and what draws you to it specifically? 

I have always love the tactile nature of paper. I love the weight of it in my hands, I like how the torn edges of paper create random, yet perfect forms shapes for what I’m creating, like the edges of someone’s fringe, or the curve of a dog’s tail. Paper has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, I was always tearing up magazines and sticking them on my walls. As a teenager, I decoupaged everything in my bedroom – tables, chairs, CD racks. Even when I moved into a career in advertising, I started in direct marketing, which is essentially sending paper through the post. Paper is me.

Read the full story at

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