A Surreal Presence for Every Possible State, 2018 by Kenturah Davis from her 2019 exhibition, Blur in the Interest of Precision at Matthew Brown Los Angeles. The four panel work was created using oil paint applied with rubber stamp letters and graphite grid on embossed Mohachi paper.
From the press release-
Blur in the Interest of Precision is a search for parallel conditions between the poetics of our visual experience and the strangeness of our relationship to language. We often use language to carve out distinctions between one thing and another. Davis’ objective—to complicate ideas about meaning, representation and perception—have found refuge in blur and doubling. The new drawings are rendered with arrangements of text, but the words are virtually illegible. Many of the portraits pursue ideas the artist is working through via the writings of Fred Moten and Toni Morrison’s essay, Sites of Memory.
Davis’ work oscillates between various facets of portraiture and design. Using text as a point of departure, the artist explores the fundamental role that language has in shaping how we understand ourselves and the world around us. This manifests in a variety of forms including drawings, photographs and performances.
Recently Davis was commissioned by LA Metro to create work for the future Inglewood Station, slated to open in November of 2022. The work, Sonder, depicts community members photographed at gatherings at the artist’s Inglewood art studio and made into large porcelain enamel steel panels.
From Metro’s site–
The photographs were hand painted with stamps incorporating letters that form the words defining the term “sonder.”
Davis was drawn to the term which alludes to the realization that every person has a unique and significant story. She hopes that the portraits inspire connections between strangers, even if only for a passing moment while waiting for the train.
(images below via LA Metro’s site)