Len Davis

 
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Artist Statement

I work in assemblage, collage, drawing and works on paper which revolves around themes of everyday life issues we encounter with the human figure present. My concepts vary from emotional expressions, responses or outcome (anger, chance, fear, happiness, hate, hurt, jealousy, love, regret, risk, vulnerability etc...), identity, perception, coping within the human condition etc... I have eclectic taste. My style is a combination of several elements with heavy emphasis on illustration, mixed media and vibrant colors with the human figure in an action-type, comic book, expressive pose and/or movie poster-like look & feel. It’s like a pizza with everything on it. Once you take that first bite, you’re inundated with flavor. And that’s what I strive for in my work. Because life hits you all at once.

I occasionally insert my past experiences in my art. I believe that some of my experiences, in some cases, parallels to others for a sense of relatability. My premise is to lure the viewer in. Once they’re in, they will be placed in a position to reflect on and question their ethics, be it disquieting or placid.


Artist Biography

I grew up in inner city of West Philadelphia. At that time, and where I lived, there weren’t a lot of resources readily available to me. The only art I saw was graffiti on the walls and subway cars. So I had to be creative in my own realm. I knew graffiti wasn’t for me.

When I was younger, I use to watch cartoons and read comic books. All I knew back then was that I like to draw and create stories. I did this for years. When I reached high school, I took all the art courses and weekend drawing classes that were free which the school offered. When I got to the 10th grade, my high school teacher, Allen Edmonds, took our art class of seven, to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the 1985 Marc Chagall exhibit, the year he died. That’s when I truly got exposed to fine art. I have never stepped into a museum in my life. That was the moment I wanted to be an artist.

When I arrive to college at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, I went the graphic design route. When I left school, I move to Los Angeles. I worked as a personal assistant, cook at a strip joint, freelance graphic designer and fulltime production/studio artist at an ad agency. In 2004, I eventually got fired, due to burnout, from the ad agency and that’s when I knew it’s time to do my own thing. And it all came back to me. 1985 Marc Chagall exhibit. I worked on my craft, on my own, to get better, because I wanted to be an artist and wasn’t going to be deterred. I wanted to tell & create my own stories through fine/visual art, my way. What are my stories about? They’re about life. How we cope, get through the day with the surrounding issues that confront us. I had to figure a way how to get the word out.

So I started doing my own marketing. One artist told me, years ago, being an artist is 85% marketing and 15% execution. That’s so true. Especially when you have no artist representation. I have rented and sold my work to TV shows such as “Parks & Recs,” “Two & A Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Six Feet Under” & an a Showtime original “The Affair” etc... I was also selected as one of the artist  for GAP Product (Red) Artist Series. One of my pieces is included the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art permanent collection. I exhibit, lecture & conduct workshops nationwide.

The goal is to be a fulltime working artist. I do realize, I have to do more, of everything, to make that happen. This, I know. It’s hard work. It can be done though. But for now, I have immediate bills in front of me. So I have two jobs. When do you do art one asks? You make the time and don’t make excuses.