"I create landscape and figurative work that combines expressionist painting with dynamic stencil printing as an additional way of layering. The multi-layered nature of this process enables me to present the emotional intensity of the human spirit, and to convey the shape-shifting energies of life."
Phil Davis studied Fine Art and Sculpture at Loughborough University. Beginning his career as a commercial artist, his early work depicted landmarks of his travels abroad, particularly Spain, Italy, Eastern Europe and Asia. Changing to working largely with oils and acrylic resulted in work of greater vibrancy, and allowed the more experimental and existentialist narratives in which he is interested to be explored through a style he has coined 'Stencilism.'
Through this style he produces landscapes, and figurative subjects that combine vivid colours with additional features of the subjects incorporated using handmade stencils. This style is a constant blending and morphing of two processes, a combination that creates dynamic and emotionally heightened images where creative instinct and the fine detail of his chosen subjects are portrayed and juxtaposed alongside each other. The bold colours and dynamic ways in which they are applied convey the emotional intensity around the subject, whereas the stark graphical tones of the print process convey a sense of bold physicality. He uses this combination of two processes to present his own interpretation of the physicality of life but seen through the eyes of pure emotion.
Phil Davis' style enables him to work with instinct and emotion, as well as being meticulous. The painting process begins by focusing on colour and mood, applying paint to the canvas in an expressive and free-flowing way. Moving on to the composition itself, he creates stencils of the relevant subject matter before printing the results onto the canvas, thereby pushing boundaries with traditional compositional processes in painting. As he experiments with different ways of applying stencils to canvas, his style seeks to blur the distinctions between traditional painting and printmaking, in order to create new and interesting ways of applying colour, texture, composition and form in order to suggest a more subjective version of his subjects.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist