GUT: In Progress

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Davis, Jessamyn
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Art is a nebulous concept, one where there are many interpretations and it’s a trial to try to sift through and see the true essence. There are so many approaches that it seems as if it would be hard to trust any one explanation. However, as a painter I do have a few beliefs about art and its place in our culture. I concentrate on the idea that art is about questioning aspects of the self in a visual and nontraditional way, as well as understanding the world and one’s place in it. By using mainly figurative work, I traverse the territory of the body and its symbolic usage for many paradigms, both abstract and concrete. The art of many women artists inform a lot of the decisions I choose about my own art, as they provide a community of strength and provocative thought that historically has been disallowed or unvalued as legitimate artistic expression. Coming from this female-centered viewpoint, I believe an important voice about the place of art in our culture is heard. It speaks of vulnerability as strength, acknowledging the emotional, visceral part of the self as valid, and challenging the concept of women’s bodies as simply a beautiful canvas. My work moves into this concept of art in that I am interested in exploring the idea of the body in its socio-spatial context—the space between people, the use of the body as a positioning device and what that means, the space between a person and their self—whether that can really be traversed and one can truly “understand” oneself. I do a lot of portraiture, both of myself and of others, as a way to tap into the subconscious through subtle differences in expression and pictorial context. I also use the space around the figure, either stark, undefined and open space, or with the addition of a few specific objects to really underline the concentration on the figure and what’s happening there. Through the use of space and figure, I believe my art explores an understanding of the world and challenges the viewer to see the presentation in a different light.
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Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College.
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