Fragments of a ceremonial circumscribed space are evident in the works of Raya through an extension of his 0wn personal space. Breaking boundaries, his Frontera is filled with assemblage that takes life from the residue of crisis.
His installation “Night Nurse” operates as both a self portrait and a collective memory in the context of marginal dual reality of medical and psychological proportions. It is a painting within a painting, repainted furniture, surgical supplies, baroque presentations of small relliquiries and plastercast bodies are part of this visual commentary. His art is an aesthetician of abundance that presents traces of the ongoing struggles with urban displacements, alcoholism, and lost dreams ever present in the social world. Raya’s edge is both intimate in a domestic construction and sinister in a spectacle of public dimension.
Marcos Raya was born in Mexico in 1948. He arrived in the United States in 1964, receiving a full scholarship to the Windsor Mountain Prep School in Lenox, MA. Raya has been a resident of the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago since 1970, creating his first mural “We Shall Walk Through the Ruins of Facism” that same year. Since then, Raya has created several murals throughout the city and has exhibited in many museums throughout the country.