Psychedelia, 2016<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Raya-Psychedelia.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Psychedelia, 2016<div class="ExternalClass195F68AD5E3D4DE88953B11FB2578CD3"><p>​A storm of energetic lines and shapes leaps off the artist's sketchpad and onto a large framed canvas in Marcos Raya's self-portrait entitled <em>Psychedelia</em>. Raya shows himself in his signature pork pie hat and dark sunglasses as he works intently in his studio. The eccentric animated forms exploding from his fertile imagination refuse to be bound by the conventions of representation that govern most of the image. From the surface of the picture-within-the-picture, they overflow into the studio space and beyond, onto the frame of <em>Psychedelia </em>itself. These fantastic forms, like the painting's title, recall drug-induced hallucinations and the 1960s drug scene. </p><p>Born into a working-class family in rural Mexico, Raya moved to Chicago's Taylor Street neighborhood as a teenager and then pursued art studies at the Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, Massachusetts. He returned to Chicago in 1979 and opened a studio in the Mexican immigrant neighborhood of Pilsen. The self-described "outlaw artist of 18th Street" became a leader in Chicago's Mexican American political mural movement and a witness to the ravages of gangs, poverty, and drugs on his community. His vast body of work—paintings, murals, collages, installations, photographs, and assemblages of found objects—addresses powerful themes of politics, violence, sexuality, and the dissolution of individual humanity through mechanization, war, political corruption, and addiction.</p><p>Here, Raya presents himself as a mature artist yet seated in the cramped Pilsen studio that he first occupied. Images on the wall behind him refer to his early paintings, the idyllic Massachusetts landscape around his school, his teacher Allen Thiekler, and patron saints he believes have protected and guided him through a four-decades-long career. <em>Psychedelia </em>is both a monument to the process of creation and a record of Raya's own self-invention as an artist.</p></div>GP0|#db1f4f94-e295-4cb9-8e97-2e1ea2003f06;L0|#0db1f4f94-e295-4cb9-8e97-2e1ea2003f06|Marcos Raya;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporaryPainting;#Painting Acrylic;#Chicago, IllinoisAcrylic on canvas, 88 × 67 inches. Collection of the artist