acrylic on canvas
218.4 x 165.1cm
“Usually, I paint things that I am fond of.” Gerald Davis explains, “I think the best images I have made are done out of love. I think of the paintings as tributes to the subjects they depict, so I want them to be as seductive and beautiful as I can make them.”
Davis’s work is inspired from an unlikely combination of artists, including Al Jaffee, R. Crumb, Robert Yarber, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder; the exaggerated style of cartoon illustration befittingly describes his contemporary suburban folklore. In Hunter, Davis’s portrait of a boyhood mate is at once tragic and comic. Recalling the twee innocence of Normal Rockwell, Davis’s hero is rendered repulsed, inept, and pathetic; his entire canvas radiates a whitened queasy pallor. The honesty of cartooning allows Davis to explore uncomfortable issues such as gender roles, sexuality, and social exclusion with an unabashed frankness. Presenting this genre on a grand scale, Davis merges the vogue of graphic art with the authority of art history, creating paintings that are both funny and meaningful.