Mike Davis has become well known for his brand of modern Surrealism with one foot in the past. Featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 36 and here on our blog, Davis’ works echo the style of the Northern Renaissance combined with his own personal symbolism; a blend of fantastical imagery, detailed landscapes, and illustrations of religious concepts and fairytale narratives. He uses obscure images of demons, half-human animals, Humpty Dumpty, and machines that evoke feelings of bliss, fear and even confusion.
For his upcoming solo at Copro Gallery in Los Angeles, opening on May 7th, Davis renders his new paintings centered on themes of mortality, folly, and pride in the tradition of those who inspire him. Titled “Ghosts of the Future”, Davis resurrects the stylings of artists like Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Albrecht Durer and Jan Van Eyck in darkly whimsical compositions. In part a companion and followup to his book and show of the same name, “Blind man’s Journey”, his exhibit reads like pages from a 16th century text- sometimes literally, as in his rendition of a bizarre manuscript- full of verbal metaphors and puns.
While many writers attach a profound significance to his surreal imagery, Davis has repeatedly stressed that his use of symbolism is highly personal, and he prefers that his audience deduct their own meaning from it. For this new body of work however, he does offer one short description: “a world of myth and colliding time frames, a land “on the other side of the bridge,” but one that resonates with our own- not as memory but as a dream.” Mike Davis’ “Ghosts Of The Future” will be on view at Copro Gallery until May 28th, 2016.