Ryan Davis (b. 1989 Cincinnati, Ohio) is a New York City based painter, collage artist and muralist. He received his BFA at Bowling Green State University (2012) and MFA at Ohio University (2016). September of 2022 he presented his first solo exhibition Warriors in the Garden at The Yard in Flatiron South, NYC. Additionally he has completed several residencies most recently at Wassaic Project (September 2022) and a 1-year residency as a teaching artist for Creative Artworks. Throughout, his work has been purchased by private clients and included in collections such as K. Caraccio Fine Art Print Collection. Currently he works as an adjunct for Ocean County College teaching several art studio and history courses.
Throughout history Blackness has been defined by its transformation and adaption as a means of retaining memory and surviving changing social terrains. These memories are held within the cultures of our music, oral storytelling, and relationship with nature, among other aspects. Of these things only nature is a function unto itself. However humanities existence and survival is dependent upon knowing these functions. Many of their functions are secrets unique to each culture and geography but throughout time have been lost, forgotten, and contorted. I am drawn to the secrets of nature revealed in their mundane moments. My observations of these moments are threads in my artwork to explores the gaps between Blackness and our ancestral relationship with the natural world. Visually my works are paintings and collages of surreal landscapes and spaces integrated with Ancient Egyptian mythology and West African and indigenous agricultural practices. Each image appears unfinished, even though they are complete works of art. My process highlights each step in its making including: the charcoal sketch, wash, underpainting, and rendered areas. How I decide what to leave unfinished and rendered is based on if I feel what I see is already believable, thus in a honest state of being. This process becomes a push and pull between my intentions too highly render a painting and my shifting response at each stage in creating the image.