Mike Davis returns to Spoke Art's Lower East Side location after a 10-year exhibition hiatus in NYC for his new exhibition Fate of the Union. The show will be Davis’ inaugural solo exhibition at Spoke Art, where he will explore themes of social and political dichotomies.
The San Francisco-based artist’s highly complex, narrative-based works are painted in the style of Flemish Primitives such as Bosch, Bruegel and van Eyck. Originating in the 15th century, painters from the Flemish Primitives movement blended elements of realism and symbolism, creating worlds and scenes that had greater depth of emotional complexity than was ever seen before.
Davis’ paintings are full of symbolism referencing mortality, folly and egotism, creating rich scenes and storylines. Figures move across the landscape, building and carrying objects, busying themselves with bizarre tasks. Recurring elements are scattered throughout the landscapes, including keys, ufos, birds, snakes, ladybugs and butterflies. Hybrid creatures such as fish with legs and men with tree trunk heads inhabit this universe, creating an alternate reality that is surreal yet familiar.
Consisting of 15 oil paintings, the scenes are a combination of arcane personal symbolism and social and political commentary. In our current politically tumultuous times, the artist draws inspiration from the American political climate and the world at large, delving into the social divides of today to reflect our own reality though a new lens.
About the exhibition, Davis states, “my work depicts a world of myth and colliding timeframes, a land ‘on the other side of the bridge’ but one that resonates with our own - not as a memory but as a dream.”