Artists, Gil Batle and Ray Materson will discuss their background and work with writer and curator, Nicole R. Fleetwood and gallerist, Frank Maresca. The conversation will be led by Rail Editor-at-Large, Choghakate Kazarian. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Raphael Rubinstein.
Raymond Materson is a self-taught artist known for miniature pictures that he sews from threads of unraveled socks. He came upon this approach to making art while serving a period of 7 years in prison. Faced with seemingly endless time, he remembered his childhood and how he watched his Grandmother sewing peacefully for hours. His initial sewing efforts required colored threads that he got from pulling apart his socks. He fashioned a round plastic stretcher by cutting off the top ring of a plastic jar with a toenail clipper and stretched cotton fabric from boxer shorts or handkerchiefs to sew on. He began by sewing sports patches for himself and other inmates. He has continued creating art since his release from prison over 25 years ago.
Materson has lectured extensively, worked as a drug abuse counselor, and has had numerous gallery shows as well as being exhibited in the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Hudson River Museum, Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum, The American Folk Art Museum, and most recently at Christie’s in New York. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and numerous other publications and news shows. Materson’s remarkable life from drug addiction to prison and the discovery of his artistic talents was published in 2002 in Sins and Needles: A Story of Spiritual Mending. He was the first artist to receive the Innovators Combating Substance Abuse Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Nicole R. Fleetwood
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Raphael Rubinstein reading.