Dana Davis PhotographyPhotographer Male Oakland, California, US
My Website: DanaDavisPhotoMy MM URL: http://www.modelmayhem.com/danadavis
Mayhem # 115217
I was drawn into a recent series by forces not entirely understood (explanation below). I am still working with real, live collaborators and am awaiting the spring when my studio warms up and I can start working with the living again.
I saw these dolls in a thrift store I frequent. I thought about them on and off that following week. My daughter and I used to spend a lot of time with Barbie and now that time is passed. A week later I saw them again, hanging in their bags. Pictures of them played in my mind for another week. Barbie, as with Venuses before her, can initiate travel into worlds both mysterious and familiar. Then, I bought them and brought them to my studio.
I have photographed them pretty much as they were; gestures cast in polyvinyl bags, heads down, eyes open, naked, mussed.
As surely as knowing limits seeing, what I say here will guide your experience with this work. It is like, upon showing you a Rorschach blot, I ask, "Do you see the rabbit?". (This is so even if you think it's not a very good rabbit.) I will only suggest that art which engages the imagination will first reflect the familiar but must also contain windows of ambiguity where understanding is suspended and the mind can play.
Note: If anyone would like to tell me their thoughts on Barbie (not on my photos of Barbie) please do so as this is becoming a part of this work.
I strive to achieve a balance between timelessness and immediacy; the abstract and the sensual; immortal youth and temporal flesh. I wish to make something of beauty.
The image of the nude is of both self and other; of who we are and what we will, one day, no longer be. We sympathetically feel the chill of that gooseflesh, the tension of those muscles, the pull of gravity on this flesh. The "other", who might be possessed with eyes or arms.
Within these compositions, I wish to envelop and not be consumed by the power of this thing itself; to illuminate these bodies in such light as to make them at once more solid and more ethereal; to carefully incise with my frame to show exactly what is and also what may be imagined to be. I find perfection in the moment and in the particular. I have laid watch where these elements are likely to intersect and have tried to catch their reflections in my little box.
These photos are what they are precisely because of the individuals who stood before my camera and the creativity and spirit they brought to the work. I thank them. My prime notion is that these photographs honor these collaborators and, by extension, all women. Thanks, also, to Ruth Bernhard for continuing inspiration and standards.
I know that many have worked this field. Sometimes it seems like I can't go anywhere without plowing up someone else's Laocoon but I follow my eyes and my heart and the smell of freshly turned earth.
I rent my large studio at the East End of the Bay Bridge by the day and half-day. Contact me for details and photos or other questions.
I want to thank several MM models; Keira Grant mm#799498, Jazmine Dominique mm#233066, KariMarie mm#390875, Madame Bink mm#357794, Jenna the Model mm#65551, Brook Lynne mm#435770, Lury mm#1810415, and An Asian Angel mm#748922, for being such great contributions.
These prints presently on my page are shot on Fuji Acros 120, developed in Edwal FG7 and printed 14in. by 14in. on Forte' Polywarm fiber based paper toned in selenium (for any darkroom techies still out there). No grain, excellent resolution, beautiful high tones, blacks you could fall into.
Thanks for your interest!
BFA Arizona Start University
MFA Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY
Dana Davis Photography, Oakland, CA est. 1986
Berkeley City College, Part-time instructor
Contra Costa College, Part-time instructor
UC Berkeley, ASUC Art Studio instructor
Princeton Architectural Press (Snapshot Chronicles, 2006 Finding Frida Kahlo, 2009)
ASUC Gallery UC Berkeley, CA "As Is" 2012
Los Medanos Gallery, Pittsburg, CA "Gaze" 2012
Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA "Photo 2012"
The Lightroom, Berkeley, CA "Anything Goes" 2011
Bridgeside Gallery, Alameda, CA "Nude" 2011
Kensington Library, Kensington, CA "Escapement" 2011
Art House Gallery, Berkeley, CA "Erotic Art Show" 2010
Eddie Rhodes Gallery, San Pablo,"Kore" CA 2010
RAW Gallery, Oakland, CA "May", 2009
Wurster Hall UCB, Berkeley, CA "Through the Darkroom", 2009
Louie-Meager Art Gallery, Fremont, CA "Educated Eye",2009
Lexington Art league, Lexington, KY "Nude" 2009
Mesa Arts Center, Mesa AZ "Physical Presence", 2007
Cantoo, Berkeley, CA "Kore", 2007
Bade Museum, Berkeley, CA "Behold", 2006
Alameda Museum, Alameda, CA "Recent Work", 2004
Before you work for Rachel Rendel or Columbia Cosmetics Mfg. Inc., you might want to shoot me a message.
Before you buy from Light Impressions, you might want to do the same.
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