Saturday, August 11th at 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Due to the amazing reception Anna’s work has received over the last three weeks, including a review by the Washington Post, we extended the exhibit. The closing reception will be anything but typical. We will feature poets and musicians inspired by her work.
And 10% of the proceeds of the sales of Anna’s work will go to support The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), which helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support.
Anna U. Davis’ Artist Statement:
I came to the United States from Sweden with my husband and 2-year old son in 1998 and have been working as a full-time professional artist since graduating with a BA in Studio Arts from the University of the District of Columbia. In my paintings and drawings, I explore the concept of “Frocasian”, an amalgam of Afro and Caucasian figures that are meant to transcend racial divide and are inspired by my long-term interracial relationship. Recently I have added contemporary feminist concerns in my work, giving form to the sexually charged hostilities that pervade both gender and race relations. I define feminism as the recognition of all persons as social equals without diminishing what differentiates one gender from another. I begin by sketching out something that bothers me, and end up making something that makes me feel good,” Davis explains. “My feminist stance comes out naturally in my work. All of the women represent different sides of me.”
My painting process starts by positioning black acrylic outlines of my “Frocasian” figures upon a white canvas. I focus upon developing and building up each figure with shades of gray acrylics creating each character through a repeated process of covering sections with masking tape, cutting out the shape of the figures and filling each space with color. When I have created the basic form of each figure and other objects, I collage together cutout recycled paper and actual cutout images of objects such as hair, fabrics and other details from fashion magazines and juxtapose them with versions of acrylic paint. I use the freedom of abstraction to stretch the figures facial and body expressions to a point of exaggeration and distortion. The backgrounds are painted in primary colors and then imposed with thousands of ¼” x ¼” cutout colored paper squares, pasted individually, by hand. All figures and shapes are outlined in black, bold lines, reminiscent of the technique used by Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein, giving my works a certain cartoonish look. My choice of using recycled fashion and beauty magazines is very deliberate. In the magazines, we are bombarded with images of what the fashion industry propose as today’s beauty standard; perfect clothes hangers; skinny, tall, young and beautiful. We are force fed the latest magical anti aging products, forced an array of “tips” on how to become these women by losing that flabby stomach, getting your cellulite under control, and by improving your boring sex life.
My work has been exhibited at the District of Columbia Art Center, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Long View Gallery in Washington, DC and the District of Columbia’s Art Bank. In 2011, I served as an artist in residence at Artisphere’s Wipp Gallery. Currently, my work is the private collections of Dorothy Lichtenstein.