At first glance, Jennifer Davis’ paintings are pretty, whimsical, pastel-colored gems, but there is a dark underside that keeps her work from becoming too saccharine.
Davis’ mixed media drawings on paper include some of her largest pieces to date. Scale aside, the new works are also some of her most intimate. Using her own invented language of symbols and the direct gaze of melancholy characters, Davis creates narratives that are at once open to interpretation and delve into the world of the subconscious.
Davis’ paintings do not illustrate any real sense of place, no landscape, just hints of a dreamland: soaring other worldly birds, fantastical flowers and strange hybrid like creatures. Instead they are psychological portraits, concerned with revealing one’s inner truths, where the animals and plant life act as ambiguous clues, “communicating what is unspoken and private, but commonly human.”
Clearly Davis’ characters are not real, nor are their surroundings, nor is her dreamland completely an escape. She is however, dealing with themes that are very much rooted in every day existence. The unease created by the intense questioning gaze reveals the true questions Davis grapples with, those that concern fear and fantasy.