Here is where
artist and man, sensibility and history come together. In this nexus of past and
present, the fanciful and the real, sincerity resides and art is made.
Rex's father was
often on the road on business. When he would return to his family, he would
bring candy for his children.
Rex’s earliest memories are of his father reaching into his pocket and pulling
out treats - candies wrapped in colorful and glittery packages, covered with
intriguing words and images. American candies - exotic objects from a distant
land for a young boy – visual memories to last a lifetime and bankable images
to draw upon in later years.
artists have a compulsion to make art. Not all the schoolboy notebooks of even
the greatest artists are filled with furious doodles and drawings, executed in a
white heat or with absentminded insouciance. Some artists, like Rex, must think
through the pencil in their hand. Others think and then, sometimes reluctantly,
pick up the pencil.
always been driven to draw. As a child, his talent was recognized by teachers.
But becoming an artist was not encouraged,
while a career in one of the "practical" professions was more highly regarded.
the lack of encouragement, Rex persevered on his own. He would spend his
monthly allowance, the equivalent of 50 cents, on drawing paper and Conté
crayon. He would carefully cut the paper in two so he could create two drawings
and thus make his money stretch.
his earliest drawings were those of more egregious artifacts of mass culture -
portraits of Western movie stars. He used photographs in fan magazines as
When people began reacting enthusiastically to his
drawings, a seed was planted. Perhaps he had a future as an artist.
determined to become a graphic artist. And after a couple years of college and
without any formal graphic art training, he acquired his first job as a graphic
thrived in the graphic art world, where creativity was not only prized but well
paid. Here he developed a smooth gouache painting technique. And, driven by his
compulsion to make art, he created fanciful depictions of
years Rex rose to own and operate a
multi-million dollar graphic arts and communication company in Washington, D.C.
Along the way, he produced visual graphics and computerized animation for a
television station and worked as art director for an educational motion picture
company. His interest in creating videos to both complement and comment upon his
paintings is honestly come by.
extraordinary business success only whetted his appetite to create art. He left
his company to pursue a career as a painter. He moved to Florida, to live and
obvious his earliest images drew on his experience as a graphics designer.
Consider his paintings of
huge apples. Although the apple is far from perfectly rendered, there’s a
commercial perfection about the painting. The elegantly shaped apple, which
dominates the canvas, is neatly set off by a tri-partite background of red,
purple and pale-blue. All the bases of commercial art have been touched. The
image becomes more archetype than apple.
large-scale depictions of
cakes and candy bars are faithful reproductions. Yet the works have a resonance that
takes us beyond the object we see. We bring our own cultural baggage to the
picture, of course. Perhaps our own childhood memories. And we really re-see the
image again after years of having taken it for granted. Rather than displaying
coyness, the artist has managed to convey a refreshing directness in his
approach to his subjects. He convinces us of his sincerity. There’s the innocent
fascination for the objects of a new culture, not to mention the childhood
memories of brightly packaged candy.
floral radiate with bright and bold hues. His travels to Holland
inspired him to interpret the gigantic blooms onto his canvases. Rex compels
the viewer to see the importance of his subject by giving it dominance in his
Rex brings another fresh
quality to his art - the joys and perplexities of absolute freedom. His style is
highly diverse. He ranges from painting
marchers to highly stylized
still lifes. The variety can perhaps be traced to the unbridled
eagerness with which he wants to create art in America, a place he calls
"the land of milk and cookies," where all things are possible.
-- Gary Schwan, The Palm Beach Post Art Critic
- From 1988 - 2008