The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
"He sloughs himself off like a snake--a scale here, a scale there,
but the whole skin is never found. He grows through his own depletion."
"My body is my story. It reveals needs and journeys and wants and insecurities and love and science and perseverance and time. There’s a give and take as it wades through physical experience, a push and pull wherein it marks the world and the world marks it. My work speaks to these marks. It speaks to the way that visual traces left in the aftermath of physical experience can be composed to depict the process or experience from which they came. It’s a little like visual autobiography. In the same way that the meeting between land and ocean spawns a shore, my work stems from the body’s communion with other individuals, materials, and topographies. "
Matty Davis (b.1989) is a visual artist, dancer, jewelry-maker, athlete, and teacher. He grew up outside of Pittsburgh, PA, where he was heavily and widely involved in athletics and extreme sports. His favorite childhood toys were carpentry tools such as levels and tape measures, and his first building experiences involved the construction of grind rails for rollerblading. As a high schooler, he was tremendously impacted by the philosophical/quasi-religious writings of Leo Tolstoy, through whom he discovered the vast troves of literature, philosophy, and art that significantly redefined his life. He went on to study the visual arts, philosophy, and dance at Kenyon College, where he graduated with honors and was a multi-time NCAA Academic All-American long-distance runner. He has also studied at Anne Teresea de Keersmaeker's P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, Beligum and the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina.
His art practice developed rapidly following his introduction to jewelry-making, in which he keenly realized the ways in which objects serve as the containers or physical manifestation of our inner lives, as articulations of relationships, desire, need, homage, perseverance, gratitude, and love. He has shown his work at the University of Michigan's Work-Detorit Gallery, as well as in his hometown of Pittsburgh at the Three Rivers Arts Festival Juried Art Exhibition, in which he was honored with "Best in Show" by curators Lauren Wetmore (Curatorial Assistant of the 2013 Carnegie International), Adam Welch (Curator of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts), and Cecile Shellman (Artistic Director of the Visual Arts and Exhibitions at the August Wilson Center). His mind and heart chime with the work and thinking of artist's such as Dario Robleto, Bas Jan Ader, David Foster Wallace, John Maus, Anïas Nin, Georges Rouault, and Janine Antoni--to name a few.
In 2013, following several collaborations with choreographer Kora Radella, he co-founded boomerang, a dance and performance project which has also involved musician/performer Adrian Galvin and writer/theater artist Will Arbery. He has performed at the United Nations, Performa, Art Southampton, Times Square in New York City, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., among countless theaters and spaces in New York City.