Shuriya Davis

Shuriya Davis often works with portraiture, creating introspective paintings that explore themes such as levels of consciousness and subjectivity from the inside out. Their works reveal a deep interest in human psychology and cognitive perception, and the results are as virtuosic as they are contradictory. The artist, who in the past has used images from various cultural fields such as music, television or internet memes, has recently placed anonymous Greek sculptures at the center of their ecstatic compositions, which they excavate and exploit for ideas and formal explorations. Most of their works, which deal with problems of representation, touch on abstraction. Where the figure ends, Shuriya Davis’ abstract paintings begin. Lines unfold into organic, semi-geometric forms, and when viewed from a distance, their canvases merge into powerful fields of color. In negotiating content and form, the artist drew inspiration from different teachings and the question of how to turn the pursuit of mastery inward, as a technique of self-exploration and experimentation. What does mastery look like on a personal, even private level? When it comes to drawing, Shuriya Davis cites Willem de Kooning as a point of reference. While their works are as vibrant as possible, they are not after resolution, but maintain a disorderly harmony, with no real beginning or end. Every mark counts.

Shuriya Davis (b. 1996, Alabama) lives and works in Byram, Mississippi. They received an MFA from Mills College, Oakland in 2022 and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2018. STARS has held solo exhibitions of their work in 2024 and 2021. Their work has been included in recent group exhibitions at Jan Kaps, Cologne; Derosia, New York; Nahmad Contemporary, New York; The Warehouse, Dallas; and Bureau, New York.