ENOS RAY is a self-proclaimed, self-taught 'street artist'. Born and raised in northern Virginia, Ray ventured out into the world on an extended tour of carnivals and street fairs throughout the South; experiencing life as few of us do and honing his craft. Working in oil on paper, his art is many things. Jazz and Blues themes reflect his deep love of Gospel music and erupt from his canvas with joy, pain and passion.
'His fresh and vibrant display of the world in which he works - one of art shows, festivals, malls, carnivals - are glimpses into a way of life foreign to most of us, and we are rewarded with many fine perceptions and interesting encounters. Neither Ray's life nor his work bothers to adhere to any cultural norms or fashions that influence most current artists, which perhaps explains the great power and honesty inherent in his work.'
- Judith Belushi Pisano
'Ray is interested in African-American musical culture, and many of his paintings celebrate the vitality of this world with its jazz, blues, spiritual, and gospel music, dancing and rhythms. 'Chesapeake Bathing Beauties,' in oil on wood, captures in copper/bronze shades three black women, arms raised, dancing exuberantly... In another, a horn player belts out a tune, his grimace a corona of gold highlights, his instrument a perfect circle of blue with gold highlight on its rim. This work is untitled, and Ray says he thought about naming it 'Not Satchmo' since so many viewers mistakenly assume that's who the musician is. I call it 'Wow.''
- Brooks Robards, Martha's Vineyard Times