Raymond Persinger is one of the most skilled sculptors alive today, with an accurate understanding of the human form that is so often missing in contemporary figurative work, combined with his poetic nature and dynamic sense of design. His work shows the influences of great masters such as Michelangelo, St. Gaudins, Rodin, Camile Claudel.
Raymond was born in South Sioux City Nebraska (actually he was born in Sioux City Iowa as the nearest Hospital was across the state line). While his family had a rich history in this area, for various reason's they moved to Southern California while Raymond was a small child. Raymond grewup in Santa Ana, which started as a farming community, developed into a suburban neighborhood which then by the time Ray entered High School, declined into urban blight. Ray was the eighth of ten children in his family and grew up with alot of freedom. As a child he spent much of his time exploring the farms, dairies, railroad bridges, riverbeds, etc. that surrounded his home, and these images influence his work today. As he grew up, many of his childhood friends turned to drugs and crime to escape from the hopeless future they felt at this time. Saved by his close family and his passion to be an artist, Raymond went to college while many of his close childhood friends were going to prison.
Even as a young child Raymond always enjoyed working with his hands and making things. He would use his fathers tools or the shop at the neighborhood boys club. His high school art teacher Douglas Churchill, was the first to point him in the direction of being a fine artist and Raymond's passion for creating art has continued and grown from that point in his life. He attended California State University, Long Beach, which offered at that time, one of the best figurative art programs in the nation.
At the young age of 25, Raymond received his first large public art commission. Recognizing Raymond's great talent, he was commissioned to create "Mustangs," three life sized running horses in bronze for the city of Brea, California's famed public art program. This was the first of many Public Art commissions that Raymond has and continues to receive.
"Powerful" is the word most commonly used to describe Raymond's Public Art. Whether a large installation or a small intimate piece, his work has a power to it that draws in and completely captures the attention of the viewer. Many of his works display a sophisticated and dynamic energy, the thunder of running horses, the intense situation of a rescuing firefighter, the power behind the blow of the ironworkers hammer. Raymond captures the power of the moment in a way that communicates the concept of the event at its most intense moment.
While in college Raymond was recruited by Dinamation International and spent ten years working as a sculptor and an innovator for science museums around the world. Throughout this time Raymond would work eight to fourteen hour days at Dinamation and then spend the remaining evenings and weekends producing public artwork for various cities, universities and private entities
Over the duration of Raymond's career as an artist, he also created a body of mixed media work that taps into his skills as a wood worker, a blacksmith, a classically trained artist and his knowledge of anamatronics to create work that is fresh, bold and provocative. This work has been part of important exhibits and has always been very well received. There is a blending of intellect and whimsy in this work that shows both sides of Raymond's personality.
A beloved Instructor and head of the sculpture program at the Laguna College of Art and Design, Raymond currently lives in south Orange County with his wife Marianne O'Barr (also a sculptor) and their three children. He continues to produce large scale public artworks, mixed media and is currently exploring Glass Art, bringing the skills of classical sculpture and his innovations as a mixed media artist t o the exciting medium of glass (a seed that was planted during his early college days as he was friends with Jamex and Einar de la Torre and would often watch them work).
For Raymond, working with glass is a wonderful opportunity to explore the added dimension of reflective light, bringing a new source of color and a transparent quality into his work. The work that he has created in glass or with glass element's is exciting and innovative in the glass art world. It has allowed Raymond to further explore and create with a combination materials, techniques and the incorporation of text as a layered element within the sculptures.