Ronald Davis II—called Ron by his friends—lived most of his life in San Francisco, California. He graduated from the San Francisco State University with a degree in Business and a minor in Fine Arts. “Art,” he said “was always my way of conveying my feelings.”
While in San Francisco, he joined the Centipede Project Art Cooperative (CPAC), where he and his coworkers held monthly art events. He was a member of CPAC for over six years before he began to hold solo shows in San Francisco. Emotional Dissonance is his first show in Manila.
Davis started out with photography, but the artist said that photography no longer satisfied him emotionally. “Photography is fleeting,” said Davis. “You look at a photograph once, and it’s so easy to move on to the next photograph. But when you see a photograph of a painting, it’ll be entirely different when you see it in person.”
Emotional Dissonance is a collection of 11 works made with mixed media. The artwork titled “Anna” is made with cut up photographs and oil paint. The painting depicts a girl with a bare face surrounded by silks from around the world. At the bottom, the woman’s foot is exposed. “It’s supposed to evoke a feeling of exposure,” said Davis. “You can see really intimate parts of her body, like her face and foot, but she’s not nude. She doesn’t have to be.”
“Amber Morning,” on the other hand, depicts a nude woman sitting at the edge of her bed looking out her window. The painting is composed of soft greys and blues, giving the viewer a calm feeling. “She’s just woken up, and she’s wondering what she’s going to do for the day,” explained Davis.
Another painting, titled “The Escape,” shows only half of a woman’s body. Most of the canvas is painted using three shades of blue, which was the artist’s way of showing distance.
The Escape by Ronald Davis II
“My art focuses more on emotion,” said the artist. “I try to paint what I feel.”
Most of the artist’s subjects are blurred, their faces lacking the detail one usually sees in portraits or photographs. “Detail doesn’t matter,” he said. “You get detail every day through Facebook and other social media, and it’s so easy to scroll from one picture to another.” The paintings also lack organic unity. To this, he responded saying, “I don’t do themes. I focus more on emotional quality.”
Some of Davis’ paintings take years to complete, because of the oil paint he uses. “Oil as a medium takes time to cure, and it takes time for me to do my art. Sometimes I draw a work, I hang it up, take it down, only to hang it back up again. I don’t force myself to finish a work I started.” Oil, he explained, is a medium that is open to change. Because it takes long to cure, it is easier to edit or paint over any mistakes he sees.
Emotional Dissonance is a collection rooted in emotion. This is what the artist tried to convey, and it is surely what the viewer will get from visiting this exhibit.
The exhibit will be open for the rest of September at FIG organic Mediterranean restaurant + bar.
FIG Restaurant + Bar
8464 Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati city
(02) 519 7276