Gerald Davis describes his drawings as “a diary of weird ideas, memories, daydreams, and sexual fantasies.” Indeed, his finely rendered pencil and pastel images leave few corners of his psyche unexposed, whether portraying a scene of drunken sexual reverie or an abusive letter from an imagined gallerist exhorting him to “at least marry someone famous.” “I think most people can relate to what I draw,” says Davis. “It’s just that they keep it hidden I like to show those secrets.”
To create these often excruciatingly personal images, Davis, 35, begins by drawing in pencil, then goes over the lines with pastels, moving between the two until the image is saturated with one dominant color and the pencil can be erased. The results are incredibly precise drawings, in which strands of hair on a head or veins on a penis are depicted with a disconcerting accuracy.
Ever since his first solo show in New York, at John Connelly Presents in 2006—titled “1986” and focusing on that pivotal year in the artist’s sexual, social, and creative development—Davis’s work has drawn its power from the contrast between juvenile subject matter and sophisticated style. In the recent works lining the walls of his studio, a converted garage at his Los Angeles home, he’s shifting the focus away from childhood and toward the present. “It’s me now, where the ‘1986’ show was me then,” Davis says.
Gerald Davis was born in 1974 in Pittsburgh, PA. He Iives and works in Los Angeles. He was included in USA TODAY, at the Royal Academy of Art in 2006, and his work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Also participation in the group show “Paper” at The Saatchi Gallery 2013.