Ray Beldner is a sculptor and new media artist whose work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and can be found in many public and private collections including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C., the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Oakland Museum of California, the San Jose Museum of Art, the diRosa Preserve in Napa, California, among others.
Born in San Francisco, Beldner received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Mills College. He has received numerous awards and fellowships including a California Arts Council Fellowship in New Genres, a Creative Work Fund Grant from the Haas Foundations, and a Potrero Nuevo environmental art grant. He has taught sculpture, interdisciplinary studies, and Professional Practices at the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, San Francisco State University, and University of California, Santa Cruz.
His work has been reviewed in publications including Art in America, Arte, Art On Paper, Artweek, Wired, Playboy, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. A profile of him and his work can be found in the book: Epicenter, San Francisco Bay Area Art Now, by Chronicle Books.
Beldner is a founding partner of the stARTup Art Fair.
Like many artists, I make art from the stuff of everyday life: clothing, cash, stolen items, porn. My work takes the form of sculpture, installation, print, digital media, text-based work, and applied arts. It is frequently derived from conceptual ideas that deconstruct hierarchical systems “high art” versus “low art,” “intrinsic value” versus “commercial value,” and so on with ironic humor.
Most recently, I have making celebrity and other portraits. Each were created from the first 101 images I found on Google when searching each subject's name. I convert individual jpegs to 1% opacity and layer them one upon the until an abstract, "meta-portrait" emerges. The portraits are time-based since each Google search, done on a certain day, will always yield a unique result. The titles of the works include the date when I accessed the images that comprise each portrait.