Artist Statement I use both written pieces and images to tell stories, explore the nature of time, and investigate the limitations of language. In this practice, I examine topics connected to race, femininity, education, and class, but I also attempt to relate these themes to more universal quandaries like love and ancestry, which is why plants and artifacts often appear in my work.
In doing so, I put my multidisciplinary oeuvre in conversation with ecology, literature, philosophy, and art history. Interdisciplinary scholarship is important to my practice, and I usually take a scientific approach to creating by referencing impressionist and pointillist painters, like Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat. I use this research to employ color theory and optical color mixing to create the illusion of shade and light with embroidery thread, fabric, and paint.
I often work with fiber, which appeals to me because textiles have a rich history in various cultures around the world. I’ve also worked with fabric since childhood, when my great aunt taught me how to dye cloth, crochet, knit, and sew. People often associate cloth with domesticity and femininity, which are often disregarded or undervalued in fine art and academic spaces. I want to disrupt this narrative by using techniques from beyond Europe and pushing the boundaries of what a painting can be. In doing so, I use various media to craft intricate narratives about personal histories that connect to a broader political context.
Biography Isis Davis-Marks (b.1997) is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and writer based in New York City. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally in venues including the Yale School of Art, the New York City Culture Club, and La Loma Projects. Her visual work has also been featured in the Rumpus and the Nation.
In her writing practice, Isis focuses on covering contemporary art, and most of her written work draws from philosophical and art historical texts to discuss issues including representation and contemporary visual culture. Her articles have been referenced in the New York Times and published in Smithsonian magazine, Cultured magazine, Phillips Auctions, Artsy, Frieze, the Art Newspaper, Hyperallergic, Communication Arts, King Kong Garçon, the Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. She is also a member of the Association Internationale des Critiques d'Art.