Written by Sean Simmons
Inspired to create world renown artists before him including Kerry James Marshall and Nick Davis. He was quick to pick up a pencil and brush from a very young age. Davis began focusing more on his artwork soon after he became unable to work, due to his epilepsy. His work became more focused on digital media as he began to experiment with different techniques using his iPad which was gifted to him by his wife. Davis became determined to express himself through his artwork and focused heavily to portray the love, emotion, and inspiration that black people have exemplified. He knew what he needed to do. Soon after, Davis constructed a project to present to the world, known as, Black Is Beautiful.
Mr. Davis began working on the project in June of 2019, and later that year, he captured the attention of the media, both nationally and internationally. By November 2019, his work earned him BET’s Artist of the Week Award and it became featured segments in magazines and even television stations such as PBS and the CBS Channel 10. Though Davis garnered attention rather quickly, the exposure didn’t stop there. His Black Is Beautiful project was later showcased at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. Davis credits his success to being compelled to help the black community, encourage others to be themselves, and ultimately spread the word that black is beautiful.
Typically introverted, as well as being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, Davis refused to let these challenges in his life beset him from becoming an influence. He uses his work to highlight issues in the black community dealing with emotional suppression, idealism of masculinity, and mental illness. He encourages others to be themselves, express their emotions through positive and creative outlets, and live without a mask which hides who you truly want to be. He believes that “we can reach our full potential when we take off our masks.”
He states to “find your purpose, find what you were meant to do.”
Nick Davis notes that his art is inspired by music, typically, genres like Jazz, Rap, R&B, and Gospel. Jazz being a major influence in his work because it is often without lyrics, giving the listener the ability to create their own story. As he creates his, rest assured, he included elements of clear, melanated, blackness that would depict people of color in a light of beauty despite the negative connotations adopted throughout America’s history. “The color, Black, means so many different things to so many different people.” “With so many seeing a negative connotation, I surround it with a plethora of colors to show that there is dichotomy in our existence, that we share the same values, and that black is beautiful.”
Despite facing various challenges through his educational history, Davis believes heavily in educating the youth. Davis hopes to make an impact on the black community, much like Reading Rainbow host, LeVar Burton. He also goes on to state that his dream project would be to open a gallery with classes to help nurture creativity of the youth and expression through fine arts, one day, possibly resulting in a domino effect. Nick Davis is a shining example of creativity, perseverance, and wisdom. Though we don’t know what his next project will entail, we can be sure it will portray that Black is Beautiful.
You can find these pieces and more on his website at www.ndartlife.com or follow him on Instagram @ndartlife for instant updates.