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Hip-Hop Professor & Producer I AM Augie Ray Showcases First Solo Debut As Visual Artist
By Kimberly Shelby, Contributing Writer
Published July 21, 2022

I AM Augie Ray draws inspiration from the things around him. (Courtesy photo)

“I am all things,” he says. Every day, because it’s his mantra. As it happens, his case is as strong as his sense of self. Grammy-winning producer I AM Augie Ray will showcase his official solo debut as a visual artist, The R.E.D. Art Show, at The LA Art Box from Friday, July 29 through Sunday, July 31. The immersive exhibition will feature 30 of the artist’s mixed-media works along with a five-song EP that also explores what Ray calls Raw Emotional Dissonance (or R.E.D.) That’s range.

Opening night for The R.E.D. Art Show on July 29 will feature live performances and run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The LA Art Box is located at 8020 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.

 As a music producer, I AM Augie Ray has collaborated with a diverse lot of the industry’s most distinguished artists, including Rihanna, Sir Elton John and Dj Mustard. The upcoming visual exhibit affords him the opportunity to show other colors.

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“This show is really my presentation to the world of how I see, feel and hear sound,” he says, reflecting. “Prior to this show, a lot of my work has been based on what other companies have wanted me to produce. Ironically, I was stuck in a system which made it hard for me to intuitively have a voice. I’m excited to use The LA Art Box as a platform to allow outsiders to come into my world.”

I AM Augie Ray shows off his boundary-pushing visual style. (Courtesy photo)

Juggling his duties as a studio guru (he owns Hype Studios LA, the first subscription-based professional recording studio in the San Fernando Valley), author, and professor of hip-hop at California State University Northridge, Ray defines himself as a “Pluralist” who uses his skills in tandem and views the world through abundance and opportunity.

However, that isn’t to say he is spending days painting bowls of cherries through rose-colored filters. He explains, “My work will depict the world we are afraid to embrace.”

As one who sees the value of being true to one’s self in “an artificial and chaotic world,” Ray recognizes life’s challenges and does not hide from them. His artistic bent, which mixes abstract expressionism with street-style influence, reflects that.

“Although this world is chaotic, I have no control over it,” he emphasizes. “I do have control of my thoughts, emotions, and the way I view the world. Through the discovery of art, I believe I discover more of myself, so the answer is to listen to the inner child within.”

The LA Art Box (LAAB) is an AAPI-owned cultural space dedicated to highlighting a diverse range of stories, cultures, and experiences. (Courtesy photo)

Ray recalls playing his first instrument as a child and that experience opening his eyes to endless possibilities. The R.E.D. Art Show marks yet another manifestation of that personal abundance – only in a different medium.

“As a music producer, I never rule any technique or approach out,” he notes. “Everything is free to you ‘as long as it sounds good.’ I used that same approach in my visual aesthetic; I have mixed a lot of mediums together to get a unique look and feel out of my art. I like to work fast, so my main go-to mediums are acrylic, oil sticks and spray paint.”

 Fast indeed, I AM Augie Ray has accomplished quite a lot at a young age, following the voice within. One of his favorite quotes by Neale Donald Walsch goes as follows: “If you don’t go within, you will go without.”

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Perhaps the same can be said for The R.E.D. Art Show at the LA Art Box as well. Visit IG @iamaugieray or thelaartbox.com/events/augie-ray-r-e-d for more information.

Related links: https://lasentinel.net/carlos-simon-releases-requiem-for-the-enslaved.html

Categories: Entertainment | Music
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