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Dana Davis

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ABOUT DANA
 

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in Phoenix, AZ.  When I was 12 my father gave me his Kodak 35mm camera with lots of dials and numbers on it and, with luck and the little exposure sheet that used to come with the film, I managed to make decent exposures on a trip to Grandma's farm.  That was it!  Photo class, yearbook and school newspaper gave meaning and purpose to my high school experience.

 

State mental hospital technician, drug emergency worker, bicycle tourist, solar adobe builder, teepee dweller and community college dabbler finally led a circuitous path to Arizona State University and studies in fine art photography, art history, non-silver techniques, gallery practices, the Woodburytype Revival Project and a BFA.  Graduate studies at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY involved refinement and expansion of my work in the landscape, contact with a broad range of image makers, the opportunity to curate Seeing Double; a Survey of Contemporary Stereographic Images.

 

At the end of a temporary teaching assignment in Cleveland I choose to move to the place I really wanted to be; the San Francisco Bay Area and Berkeley where I live happily with my wife and daughter. 

 

I presently teach photography at Berkeley City College, Contra Costa College and ASUC Art Studio at UC Berkeley, maintain a commercial photo studio shooting products, events and people for a variety of clients including TPMG Kaiser, Mills College, SFMOMA, Princeton Architectural Press and numerous individuals.  My fine art landscape and nudes use traditional, silver processes.  There is no better thing to do than to be an artist where giving form to a moment of perfection is a real possibility. 

 

 

 

Artist Statement: Kore

 

I strive to achieve a balance between timelessness and immediacy; the abstract and the sensual; immortal youth and temporal flesh.  I wish to make something of beauty.

 

The image of the nude is of both self and other; of who we are and what we will, one day, no longer be.  We sympathetically feel the chill of that gooseflesh, the tension of those muscles, the pull of gravity on this flesh.  Here, also, can be the locus of desire; beautiful in her own right.  The “other”, who might be possessed with eyes or arms. 

 

Within these compositions, I wish to envelop and not be consumed by the power of this thing itself; to illuminate these bodies in such light as to make them at once more solid and more ethereal; to carefully incise with my frame to show exactly what is and also what may be imagined to be.  I find perfection in the moment and in the particular.  I have laid watch where these elements are likely to intersect and have tried to catch their reflections in my little box.

 

These photos are what they are precisely because of the individuals who stood before my camera and the creativity and spirit they brought to the work.  I thank them.  My prime notion is that these photographs honor these collaborators and, by extension, all women.  Thanks, also, to Ruth Bernhard for continuing inspiration and standards.

 

I know that many have worked this field.  Sometimes it seems like I can’t go anywhere without plowing up someone else’s Laocoon but I follow my eyes and my heart and the smell of freshly turned earth.

                                                                                                                                                          — Dana Davis

 

   

 

All Work by Dana Davis


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