An excellent art exhibit is happening in Greenville, South Carolina.
British artist Julyan Davis has painted the South for more than twenty years—empty rooms in abandoned mansions, state fairs, vanishing scenes from the Outer Banks to the Delta.The Greenville County Museum of Art showcases his exciting new focus on Appalachian love songs and murder ballads.
This exhibit runs from May 5 through July 1st. It will continue to Morris Museum in Augusta Georgia.
From the release:
“Has love ever made you want to throw yourself off a bridge, or throw someone else off a bridge?” Davis asks. “These paintings interpret some of the South’s oldest songs, placing them in modern day settings to remind us that nothing really changes. Lovers still fall prey to despair and suicide, or end up in the crime report.”
Such music drew Davis to the South directly from art school in London. He’s brought its colorful culture and history alive on canvas ever since.
“Sometimes it takes an outsider to draw attention to the strangeness of the everyday,” Davis says, “The British director Ridley Scott made telephone poles beautiful in 'Thelma and Louise.' That’s what I seek in my work: to find the sublime hidden in the familiar, the revelatory moment that comes at us without warning.
“As for the ballad series, well, this music is close to my heart. I inherited an enthusiasm for it from my father. With their Celtic origins, these songs have provided my connection to the Southern landscape since my arrival here half my life ago.”
Followers of Davis’ career describe his paintings as being haunted by a human presence—empty places that somehow told a story. With "Dark Corners" the power of his imagery, and the mystery of narrative are amplified in these large, cinematic canvases. “I paint my life,” Davis says, “Whether we write songs or paint pictures, as artists we have a great gift – an outlet for our emotions. I am grateful for that.”
Julyan Davis received his art training at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. In 1988, having completed his B.A. in painting and printmaking, he traveled to the South on a painting trip that was also inspired by an interest in the history of Demopolis, Alabama and its settling by Bonapartist exiles.
His work has been exhibited from London to Los Angeles, and in many private, public and corporate collections including the Greenville County Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum in Charleston and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. "Dark Corners:The Appalachian Ballad," along with other work, can be viewed at julyandavis.com.