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Mike Davis (American, b.1961)
LOT ID: 62723
Crime and Punishment, 2003

Acrylic, on Panel
20 х 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm.)
Signed, and dated, "MD, 2003", upper left corner.
Lot description
Entitled ‘Crime and Punishment’, this acrylic on panel painting by San Francisco based artist Mike Davis explores a world of frenzied delirium and absurdity. With his compositions reminiscent of Northern Renaissance paintings, Davis portrays a scene filled with a variety of characters, from a pig-bird riding judiciary to the fools he’s set out to punish. Grotesque creatures hide beneath a tragic mask looking on as punishment is doled out to the condemned. The intricately conceived scenario coupled with his innovative figures allows Davis to draw his audience in, teasing them with carefully placed details and comical renderings of his characters.

Known for his incredibly vivid scenes of monstrous creatures, surrealist fantasy, and darkly humorous scenarios, the work of Mike Davis is inspired by artists such as Jan van Eyck and Bruegel, but also maintains a distinctly Hieronymus Bosch feel to them. Filled with complex symbolism regarding mortality, hubris, and human witlessness, he creates elaborate scenes often set in Medieval time. With no formal training in fine art, Davis is a self taught artist who got his start painting stage sets and eventually moved into the world of tattooing. As a full time tattoo artist, Davis honed his skills in drawing and painting while deriving various influences and subject matter from his job. His work is inspired by life experiences as well as his interest in history, which combined with his highly imaginative compositions has led to some of the most visually captivating work from an emerging artist today. He has exhibited at numerous venues including White Walls (San Francisco, CA), Galerie d’art Yves Laroche (Montreal, Canada), and Joshua Liner Gallery (New York, NY), among others.
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