Kai Samuels-Davis is a New York born artist living and working in Inverness, CA. He attended classes at the Woodstock School of Art at the age of 16, followed by a stint at the Art Students League of New York the following year. In 2002 he received his Bachelors in Fine Arts degree at State University of New York Purchase before moving to California where he completed the graduate program in film at Art Center College of Design in 2006.
Though not directly pursuing film, cinematic themes often arise in his paintings, giving them the sense of being fragments of a larger framework of thoughts. His work is composed mainly of portraits and figures focusing on introspective moments we keep to ourselves. By primarily using found imagery as reference material, a separation is created between artist and subject, allowing the imagery to distance itself from representing specific individuals. The portraits instead change and evolve into a new persona which is abstracted and intentionally ambiguous. This gives the viewer the opportunity to create their own narrative, meaning or associations and makes each piece uniquely personal.
Painting primarily with oils on wood using a combination of brushes and metal and rubber scrapers, paint is applied layer upon layer highlighting its history and texture. Structures and spaces are fragmented or blurred to accentuate the balance between distraction and clarity in daily thought. The images are cerebral and visceral, creating a mood of melancholy and solitude with an appreciation for their necessity and beauty.