Hey! My name is Trent Davis and I am a 3rd-year Neuroscience and Visual Arts double major at the University of Chicago. As someone who has always had an affinity for both science and the arts, I was worried that I would end up having to choose one over the other; I’m happy to say that I was wrong. While these are areas that I once thought to be mutually exclusive, I feel both fortunate and proud that I have begun to engage in the beautiful intersection between the two. I’ve explored this overlap in many different ways, one main avenue being perception. Perception guides how we interact with the world around us, whether it be through our eyes, our brains, our memory, or our art. Not only is it important to understand how our perception of the world and environment shapes us as individuals, but also how it can be used as an incredibly powerful tool in art.
Related to this interest in perception, I have always had a love for portraiture and bold colors. While initially frustrated with portraits, I have come to appreciate them for many different reasons. I find that few feelings in the world are more magical than watching a portrait transform from being a person to that person. It amazes me how this change can happen in a single brushstroke. Having experienced this shift in perception through my own eyes, I can never call a portrait done without it taking place. Beyond the making process, I find that portraits hold a strong bearing on not only the identity of the person being depicted but that of the artist as well. As someone who has a love for music, I always find myself making portraits of my favorite rappers and singers — those that bring me joy. Color has acted as an incredible language that allows me to bring portraits to life and for the subject’s personality to shine; only subtle ultramarine blue can be used to capture Smino’s smoothness, bright cadmedium red to display Masego’s confidence, and soft phthalo green to reflect Noname’s caring nature.
While I have begun to explore the combination of these themes, I acknowledge that it is just a start. I know that I still have plenty of room to grow with respect to both my art-making process and the development of my own style, and I am excited for what is to come…