Brilliant Inspiration

Brian Davis' Flowers at Wind Fine Art Gallery

BYLINE: Jud Yalkut
DATE: May 5-11, 2010
PUBLICATION: Dayton City Paper
SECTION: Arts & Culture Visuals
PAGE: 4

The Wind Fine Art Gallery is housed on Far Hills Avenue in a magnificent two story building, which also houses the distinctive interiors of classical home design with Hydrangea Home Furnishings. The gallery itself features the work of internationally practicing artists in their collection with a fine selection of serigraphs, giclees and limited edition fine art prints in addition to exclusive originals and sculptures from over 100 artists.

Established by artist Kee Hee Lee and inspired by "balancing the harmony between nature and people," the elements of interior design and fine artwork have their roots in Lee's culinary background in the Miami Valley while owning and operating the Jade Garden Restaurant chain Cajun Grille. She has also published two novels in her native Korean and currently writes a weekly column for the Korea Daily, Joong Ang Iibo, USA.

The present gallery location was established in 2002, moving from a smaller building and now comprising of 9,000 square feet of exhibition space. Reducing its exhibition load down from four seasonal shows, the gallery now has extensive one-person exhibitions be one of its best-selling acclaimed artists in the spring (April-May) and fall (October).

The current featured exhibition is by the intriguing floral artist, Brian Davis, born in California in 1946 and raised by musician parents, now living in Reno, Nevada. Davis says: "My art, like all art, is at its core a form of communication that is not easily translated into words." Davis, who also paints landscapes, has here as his main focus close-up studies of flowers, both temperate and sub-tropical, observed in miniscule detail with a fantastic sense of transparency and light where even the hidden shadows are glowing with deep intensity.

Davis' show runs through Saturday, May 15 at the gallery, although selections from his oeuvre are on view most of the time. In this present show there is a fine mix of original oils, more affordable giclee prints on canvas, including hand embellished giclees brightened by the artist's application of new curves and highlighting. He captures the beauty of his floral subjects first on film and then on canvas, using different floral shades of color to enhance the light from without and within.

For over 10 years, Davis' precisionist realism has had crisp lines and intricate details. He starts "with a value painting and then builds up the color" in old masterly style, and he consciously avoids the photo-realistic look with visible brushwork. His titles both describe each work and impart a poetic and atmospheric light on each.

Smaller roses surrounded a large opened flower with a luminous white center within its pink parameter in "Visions of Love," a giclee on canvas, while the elegant and almost symmetrical "Solo Mauve Iris" with its white flags and gold-toned tongue seems to sing a soft mellow song in its glowing oil original. Busy yellow and brown centers stabilize the purple and white exuberance of the giclee "Delightful Dahlias," and the original oil of a white rose, reminiscent of O'Keefe, curls around a luminescent yellow swirling core in "Inner Radiance."

Another original crimson and glowing yellow-orange iris is called "Burning Passion" and the orchid-like blooms with red speckled interior is in the giclee "Cymbidium Spray," and the detailed center of the bursting white petals of "Coral Splendor" is a luminous example of Davis' hand-embellishment of a giclee on canvas.

"Orange Radiance" is a centered single flower fusing warm and white colors in a giclee, the stunning giclee images of "Delicious Cherry Parfait" invoke the lusciousness of color and the original "Pink Peony" is further distinguished by the intricate interior of green-brown pistils and golden stamen. The crimson cups and red-striped yellow bells of "Captivating Cattleya" and the floating petalled cups of a "Water Lily Duet" with enfolding golden "fingers" are distinguished giclees. With an oriental sense of compositional space is the horizontal original of "Twelve Tulips in a Vase" seen in a crystal clear cylinder.

Other giclees in the entrance gallery are: the rising cups against green foliage of "Katie's Gladiola;" the white structure and inner radiance of "Enlightenment;" the intricate interior whorls and surrounding golden-leaved "Resplendent Queen"; and the furry golden center of a radiant "Blushing Beauty."

Davis, who carries a camera everywhere to snag his inspirations, says, "The light is the real subject of my work. The flower is the stage, the light is the dancer." Davis' paintings are featured in the newly published book Brian Davis Contemporary Master in a Grand Tradition published by Collectors Editions. The deluxe edition includes a linen slip case in an edition of only 500, each signed by Davis and accompanied by and 8"x8" hand-decorated numbered and signed giclee on paper of "French Lace with Bud." The regular book retails for $75 and the deluxe book for $175.

The Wind Fine Art Gallery is located at 7300 Far Hills Ave., Centerville. For gallery hours and more information, call (937) 291-4383 or visit www.windfineartgallery.com.

Reach DCP visual arts critic Jud Yalkut at contactus@daytoncitypaper.com

Brian Davis, "Water Lily Duet," giclee on canvas
Brian Davis, "Pink Peony," oil on canvas