J. Ray Paradiso is a recovering academic in the process of refreshing himself as a photographer and writer. A recipient of the Freedoms Foundation's Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education and retired Professor at an Illinois' college, he holds graduate degrees in both Business Administration and  - Can you imagine? - Philosophy.

When a close friend was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, Paradiso suddenly began making photographs. His work has been described as sassy, spontaneous, street. A confessed outsider, he would simply say that he works to fill temporal-spatial, psycho-social holes and, on good days, to enjoy the flow.

Does his work's compelling strangeness catch you off guard, eliciting a :-), :-( or :-S? Does it leave you with more questions than answers? Is it a failed attempt to mask personal demons? Not so simply put, its layered purpose includes holding a mirror to the world around us, deflecting the white noise of daily life and exposing what it means to be human: dense, mysterious, inexplicable.

Inspired by Garry Winogrand and Vivian Maier among others, his work has been displayed at Chicago's Apollo, Greenhouse, LifeLine, Raven and Wit Theatres. Chicago's Curly Tale Fine Art at 16 West Erie offers his photo-greeting cards. His photographs also engage poetry both in print literary journals such as StoneboatInto the Void, After Hours andThe Chicago Quarterly Review and online in the Muses' Gallery at Highland Park PoetryFront Porch Review and Wonderbook of Poetry.

All artwork appearing on this Web Site is the property of J. Ray Paradiso, and it is protected under United States and International copyright laws. The artwork may not be reproduced, stored or manipulated without the written permission of the artist.