Our Studio Sunday feature this week is Kenturah Davis. The artist current lives and works between Los Angeles, New Haven, and Accra, Ghana. Davis’ works, often made in striking black and white gradients, toe the line between traditional portraiture and graphic design.
It’s always interesting to see an artist’s studio that’s equipped for such a wide variety of different techniques and methods of production. Davis’ studio does look like it’s mainly equipped for working on a small scale, with the aforementioned variety of materials. In the below photo, we can see Davis working at a desk that also houses a sewing machine -- this photo makes the studio space look quite warm and cozy, while in the above photo it seems more akin to a traditional white-walled gallery space.
For the text and lettering on many of her images, the artist is known to use both hand-written text and rubber stamping -- I wonder if the artist has a drawer full of rubber stamps and ink pads -- perhaps one of the drawers behind that sewing machine in the bottom photo. Perhaps the storage unit also holds fabric and scraps for sewing.
It looks like Davis has a sizeable collection of books, as well. All the better for finding inspiration, or perhaps visual reference.
Davis’ work often represents an exploration of the interactions between people and various materials -- something that Davis would experience on a very immediate basis, given the variety of materials in her practice. The top photo is an interesting showcase, too, of how the artist’s works explore and address the formation of personal identity. Each face has a palpable presence and personality, even in the photo.