Acrylic paintings by Otha "Vakseen" Davis III
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.