John Davis’ Artist Statement


John Davis is a self-taught contemporary painter of narrative works. They are narrative in that every painting is a short story like a Caravaggio or the Renaissance painters, yet not limited in range or subject matter. In personal criticism, early works in search of a voice were trite and worked too hard but were a necessary evolution, a progression towards a more refined and original aesthetic. There would emerge depth and clarity in storytelling, especially when embracing “less-is-more.”

The artist credits greatly the actor and director Clint Eastwood—“The audience is smart and they don’t have to see everything to know it’s there.”

These are simple and yet profound words that became a paradigm where inspiration came more from literature and the anthropology of today rather than the art world. Greater symbolism and removing the unnecessary, along with greater story development, now characterizes the work. The process models from words to images a narrative through oils and color. Paintings will provoke differing conclusions and interpretations like a Haruki Murakami short story where the ending may be only the beginning.

John Davis works and resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his beloved, Carol, and a dog named Red.