Davis takes inspiration from Calder, and his glowing, burnished metal work is self-taught. He begins with flat sheets of metal, using steel, brass and aluminum, with steel being the heaviest and aluminum the lightest weight. He uses traditional methods of silversmithing, using hammers and other forming tools to create the shapes.
The soft, glowing gradients of color provide an additional depth to his work. I could view each beautifully worked piece of metal within the sculpture as a work of art itself, and he balances them perfectly into a moving vision.
“Icarus” is the mobile Davis created specifically for the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts. The sculpture hangs in the museum’s courtyard gallery.
“To me, there is a wondrous joy that comes from creating something that comes from inside and bringing it out into the world. And metal will probably be in the world for many years after I’m gone.” Mark Davis, from Galleria Silecchia
Interesting that this quote on “wondrous joy” comes on the heels of an email from friend and fellow glass artist, Brandie Dunn. Brandie just sent me a link to a newsletter referencing a Harvard study on artist creativity and success. In a nutshell, artists are at their most creative when simply looking for joy. The work of Mark Davis illustrates the principle very well.
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