Damien Davis


Damien Davis, a Newark-based artist with roots in Crowley, Louisiana, and an upbringing in Phoenix, Arizona, is driven by a profound exploration of Black identity and how societies manipulate racial representations through diverse media. His artistic journey unfolds against a backdrop of prestigious institutions like The Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, and the Museum of Arts and Design, along with galleries nationwide. Davis holds a BFA in Studio Art and an MA in Visual Arts Administration from NYU. Currently, he actively engages with the Art & Law Program while serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Purchase College, SUNY.

In his quest to forge a unique visual vocabulary, Davis dissects historical portrayals of Black identity, reshaping how race is depicted across cultures. He believes that symbols are the core of this lexicon, inviting viewers to engage with both the past and the present.

Davis challenges conventional notions of artistic labor by emphasizing accessibility through the use of industrial hardware, blurring the lines between creator and audience. He is cultivating an ever-evolving visual language, one that challenges representations of Blackness through curated iconography, where elements are repurposed and remixed to create innovative works.

Central to his artistic practice are laser-cut acrylic and stainless steel hardware, which underscore durability and interactivity. These materials invite viewers to actively engage in the artistic process.

His pieces serve as catalysts for discussions on intricate subjects like race and identity, bridging understanding through aesthetics and encouraging viewers to confront discomfort through beauty.

Davis finds that his journey has enabled him to reinterpret historical symbols, democratize artistic labor, and challenge norms through aesthetics. His work emphasizes art’s capacity to provoke, inspire, and foster dialogue, making it a powerful tool for challenging conventions and advocating for a more inclusive and thoughtful world.

Selected Works