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GOING FOR BAROQUE, featured works by Ryan Davis

GOING FOR BAROQUE, featured works by Ryan Davis

1 Davis Square, Somerville

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Ryan Davis is known primarily for his oil paintings and charcoal drawings that focus on the comparison of high and low art. He has shown his work nationally in New York and Massachusetts and internationally in Cortona, Italy. He recently attended the University of Georgia study abroad program in Cortona, Italy where he displayed his work in the 2017 Spring Mostra show. Davis was also accepted as a member of the North Shore Art Association in the Summer of 2019. He plans on attending the New York Academy of Art in the Fall of 2020.

Davis received his BA in Art and-Art History and Business in the Liberal Arts from St. Lawrence University in 2018. He lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts where he continues to explore the complexities of the appropriation of Baroque and Modern Art.

Artist Statement
I’ve always been passionately interested in elements that had a negative connotation or were falsely stereotyped by society like graffiti, tattoos and hip-hop/ rap music. In addition to this, I’ve developed a love for art history and the art movements, styles, and techniques that vary in response to economic, social, political and technological changes. The Baroque era of art especially peaked my interests because I saw a variety of overlapping connections between baroque art, graffiti, tattoos and rap music in terms of commentary, energy, drama, complexity and design. 

My work has been influenced by a combination of classical painters; modern street artists and musicians. I was drawn to classical work of Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Gustav Klimt, and William-Adolphe Bouguereau for their ability to paint light, energy, anatomy and emotion. Modern street artists like Banksy and Kaws helped me explore the social impact of street art and ways to combine contrasting elements into a harmonious composition. Modern painters including Caesar Santos and Kehinde Wiley influenced my work through their depiction of poses of empowerment and combination of traditional and contemporary practices. Street art is attributed to its power as a creative resistance to reclaim a public space. I like the idea of resistance and freedom that one can get from painting in public spaces. The complexities of rap music in terms of beat, rhyme, emotion and messages have guided me towards certain imagery within my paintings such as tattoos and religious iconography. 

My work takes the linear timeline of art history over the last 500 years and forces imagery together evoking new responses, especially in regards to the relation between high and low art. I’m concerned with questioning why we accept art as “art” and why the imagery of tattoos and graffiti are often so rejected. My paintings have a sense of realism, high contrast, energy, and strive to be striking, to be memorable, and to challenge the audience to socialize. The direction of my work explores the relation of beauty and resistance through the manipulation of historically known artworks through eye-catching imagery, body language and pop cultural elements related to baroque art, street art and hip-hop/rap music."

For view more of Ryan's work or inquiry about protrait commissions contact the artist at:

Instagram: Ryan_Davis_Artwork
Facebook: Ryan Davis Artwork

About the Inside-Out Gallery

Initiated in 2009, The Inside-Out Gallery is located in the CVS Window in Davis Square, a unique space that allows the public to view an eclectic array of works from artists and local organizations each month. The mission of the Somerville Arts Council is to cultivate and celebrate the creative expressions of the Somerville community. Through innovative collaborations and quality programming we work to make the arts an integral part of life reflective of our diverse city