Paul Davis was born in Somerset, England. He studied at Exeter College of Art and now lives in London. He has been represented by Heart since 2017.
Paul is an illustrator and artist whose work has been widely exhibited and published. He has an interest in linguistics (a pedantic one by his own admission). He is a thinker and a lover of life. He works in a range of media as long as it’s direct, a pencil, brush, marker pen and post-it-notes are favourites. Whilst quick-witted and seemingly simple, his work is the culmination of much rumination. An observational drawing of a man on a park bench or the visualisation of an overheard snippet of conversation can be used to signify what’s on his mind.
Paul’s images ask his viewers to think again, as they disrupt a cosy, impassive relationship to life on earth. His artworks are potentially awkward but measured. There is an empathy and delight in the absurdity of the human condition. In his own words, Paul finds life preposterous, but still madly beautiful.
As well as the observations of street life and speech bubbles attached to inanimate objects, diagrams are a recurring focus of interest in Paul’s work. They illustrate the range of choices that present themselves to a beleaguered mind. Examining the ideal straight path and the more circuitous route that life seems to take us on. He is bored with clichés and platitudes and more interested in a life being caught between two potentially opposing things.
Paul’s work is commissioned regularly for the international broadsheets and the cultural glossies as well as small independent publishing ventures such as The Drawbridge and Faux Pas magazine. He has created animated idents for BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme illustrating quotes from Stephen Hawking and his handwriting was used in animated adverts for American Express illustrating quotes from the chef Thomas Keller. In other advertising jobs he has worked for IBM and Mercedes. He created the identity for Franco Manca pizzeria, including a hand drawn typeface. Paul has made murals on the walls of building sites, restaurants, cinemas and hotel rooms all as commercial commissions. The composer Ryuichi Sakamoto commissioned Paul to create a series of paintings about the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Based on Paul’s paintings Sakamoto wrote a piece of music, the combination of which resulted in a film that was used to raise funds for victims of the tragedy.
Paul has exhibited extensively around the world but most often in London, New York and Tokyo. In 2015 he had a one man show entitled ‘Line in the Sand’ at ggg Gallery, Tokyo. He has exhibited elsewhere at Agnes B, Museet Moderna, Westergasfabriek, The Wapping Project, Collette and Adam Baumgold Gallery.
Numerous monographs have been published of Paul’s work including ‘Us & Them’ published by Laurence King and ‘Lovely’, ‘What Happens Is Good/The Twinkling Of An Eye’ and ‘Blame Everyone Else’ all published by Browns Editions.
Paul writes for Eye magazine as well as having a regular column in Varoom magazine and was the drawings editor of the quarterly periodical ‘The Drawbridge’.
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American Express, Andaz Hotel, Art Review, BBC Radio 4, Benecol, Blacks Private Members Club, BMW, British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy, Byron Burgers, Channel 4, The Economist, Erik Spiekerman, Esca Restaurant, Franco Manca, The Guardian, Laurence King Publishing, Libération, Mercedes, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Picturehouse Central, Random House, Soho House Group, Samsung, Sony, Virgin Atlantic, Wallpaper*, Wellcome Trust