While working on hit records in the music industry has played a driving force in his career, it’s Vakseen’s (born Otha Davis III) passion for the arts that has served as his key to sanity in the fast paced entertainment business. The self-taught, Floridian has developed a distinct collage-influenced painting style (Vanity Pop) that fuses elements of cubism, photorealism, fashion design and pop surrealism into vibrantly alluring, abstract portraits. While most viewers assume they’re viewing collage or mixed media art, each creation is in fact meticulously hand painted directly on canvas. Drawing distinct inspiration from our fascination with popular culture, his gallant paintings are a celebration of women, beauty, duality, insecurity and self preservation. Currently based in Los Angeles, his paintings have been featured by Adidas, Vans, Juxtapoz, Hi Fructose, Complex, Vibe, Bombay Sapphire and Tupac Shakur’s estate, amongst others. In addition to being sold to collectors and art enthusiasts, his art has been shown in countless gallery exhibitions and featured in over 100 magazines worldwide.
We are bombarded with an excess of unrealistically perfect images, packaged as though they reflect how every woman sees herself. The unique radiance of the female form is Photoshopped away. Models cover their most distinctive features. Young girls, spoon-fed hatred of their bodies, are likely to become carbon copies of magazine covers – inevitably finding it difficult to love themselves. Unfortunately, this is a reality many of us relate to all too well, myself included.
I believe women are God’s greatest work of art. My creations pulsate with feminine energy and while I cannot fathom being a woman in this patriarchal world, I open my creative process to their inherent allure. Through my art, I aim to celebrate diversity and the acute imperfections and endless perfections every woman possesses.
My signature painting style, Vanity Pop, fuses elements of photorealism, cubism and fashion design into vibrant, abstract portraits. Vanity Pop is a celebration of women, beauty, fashion, duality, insecurity and self preservation. With that foundation, my portraits are visual dialogues on society’s idolization of beauty, the cosmetic enhancements endured to meet the status quo and the impact this has on popular culture.
Like a cosmetic surgeon, I methodically collage the perfect features together, bringing my ideas to life. Although my work mimics collage or mixed-media, each piece is meticulously hand- painted to blur the boundaries between perception and reality. By juxtaposing my subjects with diverse “perfect” features, my work speaks to the fragmentation within us all as we strive for acceptance. In essence, my art is a mirror, reflecting the surreal, superficial times we live in.
Producing art that ignites discussion, captivates the senses and most importantly, questions the value we place on the superficial will always remain my primary objective. As my career grows, I hope to continue showing my work in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide; however, I find myself most excited about fostering and nourishing direct relationships with my audience.