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A work made of painted fiberglass, steel, and fabric; from an edition of three.

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  • A work made of painted fiberglass, steel, and fabric; from an edition of three.




Charles Ray
American, born 1953

About this artwork

Having been employed as a department-store janitor during his freshman year of college, Charles Ray understands the unease a mannequin can inspire—an inanimate object that one might readily mistake for a live body. His work is also charged with the purely sculptural tensions that exist between surface and interior, armature and appendage, and or size and scale. With Boy, Ray created a particularly disquieting figure. The sculpture stands just shy of six feet tall, the artist’s exact height, yet maintains the softness of youth in its rounded cheeks and limbs. The boy is clad in outdated garments, hovering “between baby and Hitler
youth,” in the words of one critic. Additionally, the boy’s pose and gesture suggest a confrontational manner at odds with his neutral face.


On View, Gallery 296


Contemporary Art


Charles Ray




United States (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Painted fiberglass, steel, and fabric; from an edition of three


181.6 × 68.6 × 86.4 cm (71 1/2 × 27 × 34 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Edlis Neeson Collection

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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