Anna U Davis
Over the past twenty years, Swedish artist Anna U. Davis (b. 1975, Lund, Sweden) has been creating incredibly complex collages that examine gender relations, sexuality, and other contemporary social issues that she observes around her. Inspired by experiences of her interracial marriage, grey-scaled, abstracted figures called ‘Frocasians’ (an amalgam of Afro and Caucasian features) that act as a medium to investigate these contemporary social issues. Davis chose the color grey, since grey is a neutral or achromatic color, meaning it is a color ‘without color.’ Davis is known for her bold, colorful, graphic mixed media work, where she explores her fascination with gender relations. Upon further examination of the Witnesses series, one sees Davis’ precise attention to detail as she applies individually by hand paper cutouts which include recognizable and abstracted images. Davis then outlines the paper cutouts with black acrylic paint and begins to take on the aesthetic of a stained glass window. She continues to add details with an ink pen and other drawing techniques. In 2010, Davis transformed her grey ‘Frocasian’ figures of her mixed media paintings into starkly black and white drawings, exploring her subject matter primarily through line and form. The black and white drawings became the inspiration for the development of Davis’ wall sculptures series 'Black Edge.' Within the Black Edge series, the “Frocasian ‘ characters are removed from the traditional painting format. These black and white ink drawings applied onto cut-out plywood, where their contour defined by the black painted edges. These plywood sculptures emerged from the idea of deconstructing the common support medium structure, the rectangle. By separating the figures from the picture plane, and installing their cut-out shapes slightly away from the wall, Davis was left with a more fluid creation, which breaks away from traditional structure and form. These sculptural figures explore this perpetual misogynistic behavior that has been influenced by society while investigating the physical and emotional impact it has had on the artist. A heightened expression through a myriad of textures and tones, Davis brings to light poignant subject matters but juxtaposes them with a beautiful process and highly refined finished work. Davis is a two-time recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and has received multiple Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission. Her work can be found in public and private collections in the United States and Europe. Anna U. Davis moved to the United States in 1998 and graduated with a BA in Painting from The University of the District of Columbia in 2002. Davis Currently resides and works in Washington, D.C.