Luis V. Rey, Spanish-Mexican artist based in London, Barcelona and Mexico. Visual Arts MA from San Carlos Academy (UNAM), Mexico.
Originally a Symbolist and Surrealist painter, sculptor and professional illustrator in Mexico, Barcelona and London. Became an amateur paleontologist and paleo-illustrator after the Dinosaur Renaissance in the late 70’s and 80’s.
First book as an author was “Extreme Dinosaurs!”(2001) and it created a mini-revolution in the use of colours regarding dinosaurs. In latter years he continued collaborating with David Lambert and the Guide To Dinosaurs (Dorling Kindersley) and “Walking With Dinosaurs” (the BBC TV Series), He followed up with more collaborations with paleontologists and researchers like Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan (African Dinosaurs), Ken Carpenter (“Eggs Nests and Baby Dinosaurs” and “Carnivorous Dinosaurs”), Dave Hone (“Cannibal Daspletosaur” project), Darren Naish (“The Great Dinosaur Discoveries”), David Martill (Caulkicephalus restoration for Portsmouth University), Marco Signore nd Luciano Campanelli (several exhibitions and talks in Naples and Benevento, Italy).
However, most important collaborations have been “A Field Guide to Dinosaurs” (with Henry Gee) in 2001, the best-seller “Dinosaurs, The Most Complete Up-To-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages” with Dr. Thomas Holtz (Random House 2005) and a long string of collaborations with Dr. Robert Bakker, his main inspiration from the start, in books for children (“Dactyls, Monsters of the Air”, “Maximum Triceratops”, “Prehistoric Monsters”, “Dinosaurs!”, “Dino Babies”) culminating with a re-make of the old classic “Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs”(Random House). His work for the Encyclopedia has been featured in the end credits of the movie “Walking With Dinosaurs 3D”.
Having been active part in divulging and challenging what he considers “the Dinosaur Image” for many years, his iconoclastic talk “Bringing Dinosaurs Back To Life” has been featured worldwide and lately at the London’s Natural History Museum “Dinosnores” late- evening events, at the Horniman Museum and twice at the Danish Natural History Museum, where it was coupled with drawing workshops for children.
Currently his work continues to be extensively featured in murals for Peter Norton’s Gondwana Studios, Stone Company and Silver Plume itinerant exhibition(s):
1. – “Hatching The Past” . All over the world, including many venues in the US, currently known as “Tiny Titans”; Monterrey, México; Catalonia (Coll de Nargó and Sabadell), Naples, Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum; London’s Horniman Museum; Cardiff’s National Museum and Copenhagen’s National Museum of Natural History as “Dinosaur Familier”.
2. – “The Art of Archaeopteryx” (several US venues).
3. -“Dinosaur revolution, Secrets of Survival”, of which he is the creator, concept designer and illustrator and is now on show in several museums in Australia and New Zealand. He has also been responsible for the murals and consulting in the successful exhibition
4. – “Dinosaurios Hechos En México” (now permanently on show) in Monterrey, working in tandem with Mexican academics.
Lately he was featured in the book “Dinosaur Art, The World’s Greatest Paleoart” compiled by Steve White and The Art Of The Dinosaurs (Kazuo Terakado Japan).
His acclaimed latest published book “Extreme Dinosaurs 2 The projects”, pretends to be a sequel to this first book as author and features the four main exhibition projects he has been participating in. In it he explains in detail their development, especially what is behind “Dinosaur revolution” and “Dinosaurios Hechos En México”.
Luis V. Rey artwork entails rigorous science homework and nature research, keeping a strong sense of the use of colour and imagination, taking advantage of his Latin American roots, to make it as massively popular as possible. Since the late 80’s he has been giving an alternate view of how dinosaurs have been depicted for 150 years.
His main artistic influence has been the Dinosaur Renaissance artists headed by Dr. Bakker. He has also been known as a stout defender of high metabolism in the Dinosauria in general and the fact that birds are not just direct descendants of the dinosaurs but living dinosaurs.
His work’s technique was initially mixed media using acrylics and inks with airbrush, color pencils and markers over cardboard. But for the last 15 years he has switched to digital media, something that has opened for him a whole new world of possibilities as an artist, including a novel personal use of Photoshop painting techniques to create large size murals, while preserving his own distinctive style.
“We need to continue divulging the revolution of the image of dinosaurs that we started many years ago… it is our scientific and artistic duty to the public. Dinosaurs are not dead, on the contrary, their descendants live with us in the shape of birds and their ancestors live in our imagination thanks to the fossil bones we find every day that fuel it”