Sloan Fine Art is pleased to present, in the project room, Double Stuff, new works by Daniel Davidson.
Davidson’s “mirror drawings” have been an integral part of his work for several years. Using watercolor pencil, he draws one side of the image in its entirety, then sprays the paper with water, folds it in half and buffs it vigorously. The paper is sprayed and buffed repeatedly until the drawn half is successfully “printed” on the opposing side, creating a complete, and completely symmetrical, image. No additional drawing is added.
Previously Davidson’s mirror drawings focused almost entirely on faces and included a cast of down and out archetypes, often representing facets of the artist himself – his inner cop struggling to maintain order, his inner miner searching for gems of creative inspiration, his inner biker eager to buck authority and hit the open road. This constant immersion in the idea and creation of mirror images triggered Davidson’s recognition of seemingly symmetrical compositions all around him, from childhood memories to his every day life. Darth Vader in his TIE Fighter screaming through the Death Star trench, Diane Arbus’ “Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967,” and a perfect ice cream sundae are just a few that suddenly gained new meaning, and from Davidson, a new appreciation. And while they were rarely truly symmetrical, Davidson realized that his human mind chose to see them that way, perhaps because their perfection and balance are so soothing and reassuring. The artist began collecting, and playing around with, these visuals and this notion.
By adopting many of his earlier ideas and directing them outward, Davidson has created a new body of work that is rich with political and social commentary (ranging from a beautiful wedding cake with two happy grooms on top to a Drill Sergeant preparing his troops for war) and nostalgia (including portraits of Kermit the Frog and The Guinness Book of World Records’ Worlds Heaviest Twins), yet doesn’t lose touch with the deep sincerity and irreverent sense of humor that have always been present in his work. Even Davidson’s installation of Double Stuff, with all 32 works hung perfectly symmetrically on a single wall, indicates that while he may take the quality of his work and the depth of his obsessions quite seriously, he is still able to poke fun at himself.
Daniel Davidson began his career while still attending San Francisco Art Institute as one half of the collaborative team Beattie and Davidson. After several successful exhibitions and extensive inclusion in museum shows worldwide, Davidson branched out on his own. His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at Galerie Schuster in Frankfurt, Pierogi in Brooklyn and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, to name a few. Davidson currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.