Jon Davis

[USA]

My art plays with the juxtaposition of images. In combining images that have no previous relationship, I change the story line of individual pieces and create an alternative narrative. The majority of my work involves two types of images:  vintage photographs and classic masterpieces. Most people are familiar with these forms. By using such common objects I am able to engage the audience with recognizable images and invite them into my work. I believe that most people view artwork at a glance, from a distance. I want viewers to explore my work.  My art beckons viewers by dissecting individual images and then weaving them back together on multiple layers of glass. With the addition of optical lenses and lighting techniques, I am able to highlight aspects of the work I want to exaggerate while hiding other features. This technique also gives my work dimensionality, making each piece change when viewed from different angles and pushing the viewer to move around the piece in a voyeuristic fashion. Through this thorough interaction with the work, viewers discover little nuances in each individual image and their juxtaposition reveals a new alternative story By inviting viewers to explore classic masterpieces blended with vintage photographs, my art compresses art history into a small theatrical environment mounted on a wall. This mode expresses my theory that all art is built upon the art that has preceded it. For instance, the use of classic art is meant to represents a moment when the medium was at its peak, a time of explosion in techniques and ideas. In contrast, the antique photos represent the birth and innocence of a new medium. The public had not yet accepted photography as an art form and the artist was in a moment of complete experimentation. Even so, I see thematic and technical connections between these early photographs and more traditional classic paintings that predate the photos by two or three hundred years. Yet these two mediums forged a symbiotic relationship, a relationship I capture and interpret. After all, while early photographers did not influence classic masters, they certainly have influenced later painting. In fact, these pieces do not simply connect early photos to classical masterpieces. The new arrangements also take into account the various movements that have happened over the past century and that have had an influence on me.  From dada and cubism to the combines of Rauschenberg and the paintings of Bacon, I include subtle gestures to each of them.