IN HIS SERIES ZEITGEIST, PETER DAVIS EXPLORES THE CHANGING VERSIONS OF HUMAN PERSONA
PETER DAVIS | ARTICULATE #17 | OCT 2018
Zeitgeist – The changes of the physical and the digital versions of human persona
Peter Davis is a British social-realist painter, aiming to capture the spirit of the age. In his ongoing series of figurative paintings, Davis explores the subject of humanity and its relationship with personal technology. The series, Zeitgeist was initiated in 2015, for the artist to reflect on the increasingly addictive relationship with technology dominating human lives.
Furthermore, Davis is giving justice to the arguments of researcher and author Wendy Chun, in her 2016 publication Updating to remain the same, in which Chun states that:
“[…] to understand new media’s wonderful creepiness, we need to disabuse ourselves of several assumptions, most importantly that there exists a “natural” relationship between technology and (the lack of) freedom”
The paintings of Peter Davis act as a social documentary that poses questions about the current digital epoch and the status of human being within contemporary society. Davis is particularly fascinated by how the physical and the digital versions of human persona are changing. Personal devices are fundamentally altering the way human interact, which is what Peter Davis wants to chronicle through his work.
As part of his selection, simplification and painting process, Peter Davis likes to deconstruct and reconstruct the people and compositions that he sees around him, transforming them from their original context.
Davis always tries to create a visual dynamic that is loaded with implications. Establishing a deliberate dichotomy in his work forces the viewer to focus on what that person is doing – and in doing so, it creates a sense of isolation and divorce from the real world and a psychological conflict in the painting between humanity and technology.
The titles of Peter Davis’ paintings play off the composition, or the technology being featured, with the aim of giving the viewer clues to a deeper narrative. Davis hopes for the viewers of his work, to discover more complexities in his paintings, unfolding from what might at first seem to be a series of straightforward paintings.
The article about Peter Davis, is featured in magazine ARTICULATE #17. You can read, download or print the full publication here below.