Damon Davis is a Black artist based in St. Louis, Missouri. He has been on my radar for over a year now, when he first began working on his Cracks series. Davis describes this series as “a series of three dimensional works that are an investigation of vulnerability, masculinity, grieving, and trauma around loss and pain,” inspired by personal loss experienced in 2019. However, the political and social unrest that marked 2020 has proven that Davis’ work is also deeply influenced by the experiences of Black Americans as well. In his ever-evolving Cracks series, Davis explores the concept of vulnerability by creating a tough exterior or shell (the concrete bust) that is then broken or cut to expose “treasure”, roots or the rough interior within. These works ask us to consider how we as humans damage each other, and how we can begin to heal from such damage.
Davis recently released a new series that explores the concept of altars in an interactive AR experience. Of the project Davis says, “Altars consists of three augmented reality (AR) altars, each embodying a specific emotional state–joy, grief, and protection. They are meant to serve as a “virtual conduit” for those feelings, each accompanied by a soundscape and short meditation. I was inspired by altars from cultures all over the world, especially Black and Brown cultures, who have used them to channel energies toward enlightenment, salvation, and loss.” I have to say that these are fascinating and highly encourage you to explore these yourself!
Discussion for Kids
One of my favorite ways to open up discussion about artwork is to ask children to examine the work for about 30 seconds, then tell me what they think the art is about. This works well with all ages!
View the ALTAR experiences and listen to the audio that accompanies them. What do you feel when you view these?
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