Along with Harlem Colors, Ms. Davis works out of her studio in the warehouse artists community at the cutting-edge Chashama Harlem Studios Gallery (461 West 126th Street, east of Amsterdam Avenue). There she is afforded the opportunity to create in one of the most dynamic fine arts incubators in New York City. She affirms her small studio space among other prolific artists is a creative "sanctuary" away from "the nonsense called art" these days.
Although all of Diane Davis' artworks burst with both vibrant and nuanced colors, she is quick to state that "composition, not color, is the key" to her beginning, finishing and sometimes revising an expanding and impressive portfolio of work. Equally so, Davis asserts, "I work for me" as she begins to construct any art project. However, she is definite when adding, "I want people to like my work but on my terms."
Commercializing or mass producing any of her designs is not the most comfortable compromise Davis has made in the course of making a living with art. As a result, she has overseen reprints of only her dancer series artworks as greeting cards. Ironically, because of the dancer series' exceptional artistic quality and emanating emotions, it is difficult to imagine anyone actually mailing the cards away after purchasing them.
When talking with the artist, you get the feeling that her art also taps into the experiences and emotions of a very rural Loda, Illinois, childhood. Ms. Davis admits coming to New York City years ago was quite a culture and attitude shock for someone having been nurtured in a small town of nearly 500 people. However, the social and spiritual cushion of having a childhood away from the multitude of distractions, challenges and complexities experienced by most big city kids may have allowed her to access a much keener sensitivity to the subtleties and rhythms of life. No doubt, this factor plays out in her creations as it is challenging to believe you are viewing volumes of truly fine art created by a mostly untrained artist.
Surely, any one or series of Diane Davis artworks are easily a unique and emotionally satisfying collectible. She was honored by the famed Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as one of the 125 Black New York artists of the 20th Century in 1998. Her work "Sunrise Dancers" was published by the Schomburg in the catalogue "Black New York Artist of the 20th Century". Davis' Schomburg recognition, and the institution's 80-plus years reputation as an intellectual and creative catalyst of the first Harlem Renaissance, easily links much of her diverse modern artworks to many of the world renown artisans of that period.
Below is a very small sample of Diane Davis' artworks. Serious prospective buyers are welcomed. Except for a very few greeting card printings, Ms. Davis' many creations are original one of a kind productions.
All artworks conceived and created by Diane Davis are intended as and are strictly original one of a kind art productions, and are not to be duplicated or replicated for further sale, trade or public display by any persons or entities other than Ms. Davis or her legal heirs. Ms. Davis, and her legal heirs, also retain exclusive rights to any potential and all future reproductions, replications or displays of her artworks in any form of printed, structural, electronic, internet, digital, non-original media, or performances. Specific rights to any exhibition of Diane Davis art are retained by the owner only after permissible venues or structures are sanctioned in writing by Ms. Davis or her legal heirs. To arrange a private art viewing or purchase direct from Diane Davis, she can be reached exclusively by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org anddianedavis@HarlemColors.com
As artist Diane Davis explains it, "I just fell into painting and sculpting after making a start at a fashion design career and doing various 9-to-5 jobs." Yet, the forces of fate guided Ms. Davis down a more prolific creative path as her artistry with painting and mixed media have revealed an innate talent for fine art that's emotionally abstract. Her series of watercolored dancers display the motion, rhythm and attitude usually seen only when watching a live modern dance performance. How she pulls this off is rooted in her near empathic ability to connect, feel and interpret emotions with her own artistic antenna. She easily translates spirits many never see or paint.
Davis affirms, "art is a form of storytelling and communication" that too many artists fail to remember. "It's not about trying to make pretty pictures, but to evoke emotions," she adds - hinting at the pretentiousness and hype throughout much of today's contemporary and commercial arts culture. Although many of her artworks are in the acrylic painting medium, she continues to explore sculpture and mixed media as well. Regardless of the form Ms. Davis talent decides to take, there is an apparent attempt to infuse what she calls "chaotic order" into her creative process. There appears to be no one way to appreciate the results.