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Kai Samuels-Davis: Emergence

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Date: 
Saturday, 4 May 2024 to Saturday, 1 June 2024
Opening: 
Saturday, 4 May 2024 - 5:00pm

In his latest exhibition, Emergence, Kai Samuels-Davis invites viewers on a profound journey of personal transformation and self-discovery. Inspired by his own inward odyssey over the past several years, the exhibition is a testament to the power of reconnecting with nature and embracing an ever-evolving sense of self. 

Inspired by his own profound inward odyssey spanning several years, "Emergence" is a testament to the power of reconnecting with nature and embracing the ever-evolving sense of self. Through a collection of predominantly expressive portraits infused with landscape elements, Samuels-Davis mirrors the intricate interplay of universal human emotions, inviting viewers to delve into the depths of their own consciousness.

Employing a liberated palette and an intuitive, creative process that encompasses meditation and drumming, Samuels-Davis channels the essence of his personal emergence, both as an artist and as a human being. Each canvas pulsates with saturated hues, igniting a dynamic dialogue between the viewer and the artwork, as well as the broader world.

"Emergence" transcends the confines of the physical realm, delving into the metaphysical through a vivid exploration of color, material, dimension, and varied mark-making. The exhibition's theme of connection with nature is vividly depicted as vibrant landscapes seamlessly merge with introspective portraits, evoking a sense of harmony and interconnectedness.

Samuels-Davis further celebrates this connection by incorporating found natural materials such as stone, wood, and sap into his artworks, emphasizing the wonder of the world around us. From paint scraps to 3D forms crafted from fabric and framed post-it notes documenting studio revelations, each element contributes to a multi-dimensional experience mirroring the complexity of the human psyche.

At the heart of "Emergence" lies an exploration of processing emotions and connecting with our higher self. Through pieces such as "Elements of Being 1-6" and "The Reappearing Boy," Samuels-Davis visually articulates the deconstruction of self, its awareness, and eventual manifestation into physical reality. This journey underscores the overwhelming sense of experience that encapsulates the human condition, reminding viewers of the inherent interconnectedness of humanity.

"Emergence" stands as a testament to the shared journey of growth and heightened consciousness that unites us all. By embracing the full spectrum of human emotion and experience, Kai Samuels-Davis invites viewers to contemplate the mosaic of their own consciousness and embark on a journey of self-discovery and introspection.

As audiences navigate through the exhibition, they are reminded of the boundless potential for personal and collective evolution, reinforcing the profound interconnectedness of all beings.

Curator :

Artist ( Description ): 

Kai Samuels-Davis is a New York born artist living and working in Inverness, California. He attended classes at the Woodstock School of Art at the age of 16, followed by a stint at the Art Students League of New York the following year. In 2002 he received his Bachelors in Fine Arts degree at State University of New York Purchase before moving to California where he completed the graduate program in film at Art Center College of Design in 2006.

Though not directly pursuing film, cinematic themes often arise in his paintings, giving them the sense of being fragments of a larger framework of thoughts. His work is composed mainly of portraits and figures focusing on introspective moments we keep to ourselves. By primarily using found imagery as reference material, a separation is created between artist and subject, allowing the imagery to distance itself from representing specific individuals. The portraits instead change and evolve into a new persona which is abstracted and intentionally ambiguous. This gives the viewer the opportunity to create their own narrative, meaning or associations and makes each piece uniquely personal.

Painting primarily with oils on wood using a combination of brushes and metal and rubber scrapers, paint is applied layer upon layer highlighting its history and texture. Structures and spaces are fragmented or blurred to accentuate the balance between distraction and clarity in daily thought. The images are cerebral and visceral, creating a mood of melancholy and solitude with an appreciation for their necessity and beauty.

Venue ( Address ): 

804 Sutter Street

San Francisco, CA 94109

Ryan Graff Contemporary , San Francisco

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