Named among the Top Ten Portrait Painters of 2016 by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Simon Davis is inspired by often quiet and unassuming moments of introspection, painting the gradual revelation of gravity and melancholy found in painting others. Often painting his portraits with an atmosphere of tension that reflects an attempt to represent the female form in a serious and unsentimental way. ‘I want my paintings to have gravity and strength and not fall back on decorative solutions,’ states Davis. ‘Painting to me is a constant battle to simplify.’ Here, his paintings are rendered with a limited palette; earth colours applied in strong blocks and brushstrokes. His figures are constructed rather than moulded, as he employs a ‘square-brush’ technique with paint applied quickly and energetically.
Compositionally, his portraits are distinct with a strong, arresting presence. ‘I have realised that this element has become more important to me as my panting practice has evolved’, says Davis. Working in the traditionof portraiture today, Davis recognises there is an everlasting connection between painter and model that is captured in painting, and the most successful paintings transcend this relationship to the viewer.
Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1968, Simon Davis now works and lives in London. In 2008, he was awarded second prize from the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London, for his painting, Portrait of Amanda Smith at Vincent Avenue. Over the past decade, Davis has consistently exhibited portraits at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition, London.