Each artwork in Christian Davies’ current exhibition, “Me, I’m OK” at J. Rusten Furniture Studio presents an engaging synergy of geometric tessellations and organic, expressionist color and textures. Patterns and designs reveal the artist’s interest in traditional quilt patterns he was exposed to through his mother, a quilter, yet as a contemporary artist he subverts that tradition’s design and symbols with his own personal, creative perspective.
Utilizing basic square and triangles, Davies breaks up the quilter’s traditional, heavily-patterned picture plane and creates unique designs, colored to create patterns within patterns, cleverly displaying his individual expressions within rigorous rules. Looking closer into the patterns that at first glance seem strictly geometric, some, if not all of Davies’ works posses telling artifacts of the artist’s hand– a fingerprint, or a variance of texture in the water colors. This is a personal touch within the medium that may be reminiscent of a fabric used in quilts that may reveal a narrative or capture a an ephemeral memory eternally.
J. Rusten Furniture Studio, founded in 2003 by Jared Rusten with “a mandate to advance the craft of woodworking, and construct beautiful and compelling objects,” speaks eloquently to Davies’ subject matter, influences, and medium. A huge, 48-starred canvas American flag greets visitors in the narrow passageway leading to the main room evokes a strong ambiance of nostalgic Americana and craftsmanship, similar to the quilting influence in Davies’ works. Paneled glass windows on the large studio door and the imperfect lines of the bead-board of the walls reinforces Davies’ subversion of his work’s strict geometry. This strong collection of new works are hung shifted from both a salon style and a defined pattern, inviting a different interpretation of the artworks’ abstract patterns.