About Peter Davis
I am a social realist painter.
Zeitgeist, which means ‘spirit of the age’, is the name of my ongoing series of paintings that looks at our relationship with our tech. Personal technology is blurring our physical and digital worlds and making us fundamentally rethink what it means to be human.
My compositions focus on someone absorbed in their personal technology – whilst their bodies are physically present their minds are elsewhere. They hold a mirror up to what we have become and give us clues to what might lie ahead.
I like my paintings to feel technically beautiful. There is an intentional dichotomy between my technology-centric images and my traditional painting process. Through the materiality of the canvas’s surface and my fine mark making, my artwork inherently points back to me as their author. A real brushstroke, unlike a virtual one, gives me a visceral response that can’t be achieved with digital mediums, and, as there is no physical connection to the digital narratives, it allows for a more authentic discourse.
I started this body of work in 2015 to reflect our increasingly addictive relationship with the tech that now dominates our lives. Seeing people connected to their devices 24/7 is so common that we don’t give it a second thought anymore. As the American writer, Henry Miller, puts it “What the painter sees he is duty-bound to share. Usually, he makes us see and feel what ordinarily we ignore or are immune to.”
I am a member of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters (CBPP), an elected council member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (MAFA) and have won numerous professional painting prizes. In 2017 and 2019 I was shortlisted by Artists & Illustrators Magazine for Artist of the Year.