Reggie Davis is a self-taught visual, green artist, of color working in the mediums of recycled photo collage, montage, and assemblage; he also works with found objects – the creative reuse of found object artifacts, up-cycled into abstract figurative sculptures. Making sculpture in this way – “preserves a history in a piece of art – a heritage and memories that can be passed on through its transformation toward a new reclamation.”
As a self-taught visual artist, Davis has been interested in the transformative and healing power of art. The transformative process that Davis sees is a metaphor for mental alchemy. Changing our experience of reality through the creative process that expands our intuitions, and offers us greater Illumination into our own self-mastery.
For Davis, the “Art of transformation” comes through working with recycled materials that demonstrates the importance of conserving our limited natural resources. The call to action is imprinted in his artwork.
Working with discarded materials represents the potential for our own transformation; taken to the alchemical process by altering the objects, context and content; modification of their usually utilitarian meaning and significance are transformed while retaining aspects of its conceptual purpose and history. At the same time challenging the factuality of materiality by manipulating the objects perceived inherent value and mixing it with a new intended meaning-abstracted-into energetic figurative sculptures, or recycled photographic, sourced imagery and other ephemeral materials that becomes the materials for photo collages.
For the sculptures, each figurative symbolizes an active return to the body showing the body as a framework analogous to the major skeleton. Our bodies provide structure and stability, containing the potential for emotional connection, containment and release. Archetypal, open-framework figuratives are activated by the viewers’ story, and are filled with their own personal iconography.
The majority of Davis’ figuratives are based on what has been called, in want of a better word, “African Primitivism”. Utilizing “primitivism” as a compositional device, this sophisticated approach leads to the abstraction of the human form. Davis’ works are inspired by religious ideals and spiritual experiences that are unselfconscious, as art, and where a great amount of mechanical craftsmanship is still required.
African “primitivism” expresses Davis’s view of art as something that changes his life and him being an artist – a personal and spiritual transformation alluding to the magical nature of artmaking seen in tribal African art.
Primitivism also allows for the creation of a visual study of the inner connections between various realms of our social-cultural reality, focuses on cultural diaspora and the drift of “primitivist” art into contemporary art.