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Review: Jen Davis of Lee Marks Fine Art

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 6, 2014

Self Portraiture

For Jen Davis the self portrait has been vehicle for self discovery, exploration, and what seems to be a continued a mixed-bag of emotions ranging from acceptance to disappointment, from comfort to desire to change. Ms. Davis first used the camera as a means to see herself as others do; "but at 5-foot-4 and 260 pounds, this was not an easy thing to do" (Miki Meek). We can see the artist put herself under the lens; the discomfort is palpable, and yet Davis seems to grow ever-confident and engages in further exploration of herself. In early images she is on edge and seems to hide herself in public as in the the initiating shot, Pressure Point taken at Myrtle Beach, and in private while changing in Push-up Bra. As time passes she reveals more and doesn't- we feel the inner struggle of self acceptance in works like Conforming and Untitled No. 7 where Davis is out of the bath and quite exposed but for a towel. The choice not to reveal her face suggests a bit of shame but things

begin to change as the series progresses. Her comfort grows as she finds a level of comfort between herself and the camera and within her own spirit-New Haven Bedroomshows a soft elegant light shining on her relaxed and peaceful body and inUntitled No. 47we see a sparkle of personality, a spunky attitude. The work has it seems helped raise understanding for the difficulties and pain suffered by people like Davis and to have inspired Davis herself to reexamine not just how she is seen and wants to be seen, but also how she wants to live. Davis has decided to have her stomach banded to reduce her appetite. The treatment has been successful, she has lost 70 pounds.

New York Times Review

Learn more about Davis at Lee Marks Fine Art

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