Ray Kleinlein earned his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, a self-designed program of concurrent study from The Columbus College of Art & Design and The Ohio State University. He also earned a M.F.A. degree with a dual major in Painting and Art History from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. In the past five years, he has exhibited in group and one-man shows in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. His work is represented in the Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as well as in many private and over 200 corporate collections throughout the United States and Canada. His work has been reviewed and reproduced in several publications in Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia, as well as in national publications, such as New American Painting and Southern Living. He was awarded the Mary Lou Chess Award by the Ohio Art League in 1999 and placed 2nd in Miami University's National Young Painters competition in 2001. He has taught at Lynchburg College, Davidson College, and Ohio University, Longwood College in Farmville, Virginia, and is currently teaching at Middle Tennessee State.
Kleinlein has said my paintings "pay homages to the sensual, emotional, and spiritual perception of reality. They are affirmations of the quiet beauty of simple objects that exist around us in our everyday lives, and by extension, are affirmations of existence itself. My hope is that the work allows the viewer to take a look at the overlooked and appreciate the ordinary experiences of everyday life which can be quite beautiful. Ultimately the work is about beauty, care, and reverence. Through beauty, care, and reverence art can bring optimism, faith and love into the world. Art that does this can be nourishing and restorative to life."
Ray Kleinlein's combination of trompe l'oeil (to deceive the eye) precision with his rich painterly, physical handling of paint yields works that are visually vital. These unique still lifes are tantalizingly real and yet very much about "art for art's sake." His command of texture is extraordinary- from soft, plush pillows to turgid, industrial hoses to crusty, dense loaves of homemade bread. The artist elevates mundane subjects to iconic "personalities" with his exceptional skill, excellent pictorial design and wry wit.