The Rivington School or Wat
Cowboy Ray Kelly

From the book Rivington School or Wat by Amr G. Shaker:

'Ray Kelly, also known as Cowboy Ray, is without a doubt the father figure of the Rivington School, as he is the one who started it all.

Having studied painting at the Art Student League of New York, and later working as an assistant to Mark Rothko, he knew a relatively successful beginning in the local art world. At this point however, he realized that painting was not the right expedient for him. Rather, he saw in it a source of loneliness and misery which often led to self-destruction. It is this enlightenment that eventually led him to give up his work. After Rothko’s death, he eventually returned to his home state of Texas where in his family’s tradition he took up farming.

For a few years, Cowboy Ray was able to enjoy the great outdoors, the constraints of “real life” and the beauty of handiwork. These new experiences, he says, made him question and reassess his code of values as well as his perceptions about formal education and modern lifestyles, both of which- according to him- left little or no room for individual freedom.

Whether it was a self set mission or the quest for experimenting a newly found ideology that drew Kelly back to New York in the early Eighties, remains an enigma. In fact, he often avoids the question with a cunning smile. Back in town, he made a few sculptures in order to “get the thing started”. And since then, he acted as a backbone, as a dean to the “school”, by supervising and synchronizing the various events that took place at No Se No and in the sculpture garden.

“There was no blueprint for the Rivington School or the sculpture garden” says Kelly. “Rather, they were left to grow and to establish themselves according to the laws of nature and randomness.” It is this modest standpoint towards his deed, that according to many, makes of Ray Kelly the ultimate Rivington School artist.'

 


CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO VIEW LARGER

Alcoholic Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly, 2010

Lasso Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly

Amerika Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly, 2010

Cowboy Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly, 2010

Hillbilly Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly

Girlfriend Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly, 2010

Texas Corner Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly, 2010

Rebar Dude Piece by Ray Kelly

Texas Wall Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly, 2010

Honeybunch Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly, 2010

Star Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly

Rainbow Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly, 2010

Redneck Rebar Piece by Ray Kelly

Ray Kelly Sculpture

Becky Fuller

P.S.1 Museum

P.S.1 Museum

Misting Stainless Steel Sculpture

Misting Stainless Steel Sculpture

sculpture 3

Insect

sculpture 4

Bull

sculpture 5

Ken Hiratsuka & Ray Kelly

sculpture 6

Water Sculpture

Rainman

Rainman

Forsyth Street Sculpture

Forsyth Street Sculpture

sculpture 9

Texas Fire

Rainbow

Rainbow

sculpture 11

Suzie

Socrates Sculpture Garden

Socrates Sculpture Garden

Night View

Night View

Casa Blanco, Italy

Casa Blanco, Italy

All images ©1980-2009 rivingtonschool.com and photos ©1980-2009 Toyo Tsuchiya and may not be used or distributed without permission.