The Black diaspora is embedded into the work of Damien Davis. The New York City-based multimedia sculptor explores historical representations of Blackness by unpacking the visual language of various cultures and questioning how societies code and recode representations of race through design. At the Project for Empty Space in Newark, New Jersey, his most recent solo exhibition, SEARCHING, alludes to the complexities and anxieties of being Black and queer in America today. Interview magazine wrote this about the exhibition “...in the plastics he frequently uses in his work, you looked closer, and identified the themes at work via imagery including silhouettes of Nefertiti, pick combs, watch gears, and West African masks: racial injustice, police brutality, inequality, and the demonization of queer communities.” Davis, who designed the physical Native Son Award—a multi-layered acrylic sculpture connected with nuts and bolts—is also a Lecturer of Sculpture at SUNY Purchase. The Artist in Residence at Project Empty Space is now also the gallery's Programs Manager ensuring that the world will see Black art through an intersectional prism. —G.E.
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