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CLAMPART: Jen Davis - Eleven Years | Jen Davis - I Ask in Exchange - 22 May 2014 to 3 July 2014

Current Exhibition


22 May 2014 to 3 July 2014
Tuesday - Saturday, 10.00 am - 6.00 pm
Opening: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 6.00 - 8.00 pm
CLAMPART
521-531 West 25th St
Ground Floor
NY 10001
New York, NY
New York
North America
T: +1 646.230.0020
F: +1 646.230.8008
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W: www.clampart.com











Jen Davis, Untitled No. 21 ,2013
Signed and numbered, verso, Archival pigment print
24 x 20 inches, (Edition of 10), 14 x 11 inches (Edition of 15)
12


Artists in this exhibition: Jen Davis


Jen Davis | Eleven Years

May 22 – July 3, 2014

Opening reception:
Thursday, May 22, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

ClampArt is very pleased to announce Jen Davis’ exhibition “Eleven Years,” which coincides with the release of the monograph of the same title from Kehrer Verlag (Hardcover, 120 pages, 10.9 x 9.2 inches, $50). This is the artist’s first solo show in New York City.

Jen Davis explained to an interviewer in 2013: “In this body of work, I deal with my insecurities about my body image and the direct correlation between self-perception and the way one is perceived by others.“

Overweight from an early age, Davis knew no different, but by 2002, she began to reflect on her life, telling her story through photographic self portraits, revealing her thoughts and opinions about the society in which we live—a society that dictates beauty based on one’s physical appearance. Originally employing a 4 x 5 view camera, she bravely turned the lens on herself, exploring not only her own insecurities, but also addressing broader societal standards of beauty, and how those rigid strictures impact individual lives. Challenging traditional expectations of female representation, the series continued for eleven years as Davis completed a BFA program at Columbia College Chicago and an MFA program at Yale University in New Haven before moving to New York City.

Commenting upon the formal richness of her self portraits, Davis says: “In retrospect, [I was subconsciously constructing] images that were compelling to look at that would be seductive. The beauty of the picture was in the light and in the use of color—it was beauty that I could control, a world of beauty that I myself created and inhabited. In a way what I was doing was seducing myself. I couldn’t necessarily identify with the idea of someone seeing me as ‘beautiful,’ but I could accept that the pictures that I created and inhabited were. It was a very contradictory experience.”

The photographs in this powerful body of work courageously reveal the artist’s desire for love and intimacy, and track the treacherous path to self-acceptance. Davis explains, “In the work what I kept returning to is: What is love? Am I loveable? Can someone find me attractive?… At home with mundane surroundings, I treated the camera as if it were my lover—the camera desiring me, providing me the glimpse of what was missing in my life.”

Finally, in 2011, while reviewing her portfolio in Syracuse during a prestigious Light Work residency, Davis had a stark realization that for the decade she had been working on her self portraiture project, her body had not really changed. So, just a few short months later, she elected to have Lap-Band surgery. Now, thanks to the surgery and a new diet paired with exercise, Jen Davis’ body is appreciably transformed. Beginning a new chapter of her life, Davis’ eleven year’s of reflection and introspection expertly bring into focus everyone’s passing sorrow and loneliness, in addition to our common moments of self-doubt and sometimes suffocating fears of inadequacy. Jen Davis’ story is both a personal one and something strikingly universal.

Davis’ work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and abroad. She is the recipient of a large number of distinguished awards, and her work is part of the permanent collections of many major museums including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Columbus Museum of Art; the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.



Jen Davis | I Ask in Exchange

May 22 – July 3, 2014

Opening reception:
Thursday, May 22, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

ClampArt is pleased to announce “I Ask in Exchange,” an exhibition of photographs by artist Jen Davis.

Born of a desire and need for emotional and physical intimacy, Jen Davis decided to use her camera as a tool for approaching men during the two-year span of her project. She writes, “The camera transforms and empowers me to approach whomever I want, and for the duration of the shoot I become a flirtatious voyeur in close proximity to my subject.” Considering every frame as a record of a hypothetical relationship, Davis playfully imagines the photographs as proof of interaction and involvement—documentation of a real couple, however fleeting the fictional liaison. Davis is photographing a fantasy.

More than just a reversal of the male gaze, Davis is looking for a form of engagement from her subjects, rather than mere passivity. She continues, “I am interested in photographing men for the purpose of placing expectations of attraction, both physical and emotional, onto them during the act of photographing. . . I needed to be desired and looked at. Through my camera I could experience an intimacy that I yearned for and did not have.” Davis not only uses the camera to gaze at her male subjects, she invites them to look back. The camera aided in the construction of real relationships with men—however illusory and ephemeral they might ultimately seem. “I use the license that this machine gives me to solicit an intimate interaction, to ask for a return of my desire for the time I am taking the pictures.”

Davis’ work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and abroad. She is the recipient of a large number of distinguished awards, and her work is part of the permanent collections of many major museums including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Columbus Museum of Art; the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.


CLAMPART






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