With his bold, black graphics scrawled in crayon, pencil and vintage dip pens, East Londoner Stephen Anthony Davids crafts with the improvisation of a cartoonist. Defined by the artist as crude and naïve strokes, his creations are informed by a complex social context. Titled I am SAD, Davids’ exhibition is inspired by his unconventional observations of the everyday, East London urbanity, popular culture, folk art, oddities, trinkets and the past.
Davids' monochromatic compositions, punctuated with brief bursts of colour, are inscribed with important autobiographical commentary on what he has seen and heard. Images collaborate with snippets of writing and thought-provoking slogans. Even the burgundy wax seal splodge with which he finishes his drawings infuses his minimalist lines with a sense of history and authenticity, the wax Davids uses sourced from that with which the Bank of England seals its official documents. I am SAD is the culmination of three years of Davids’ work, mixing paper, reliefs and sculpture and employing a diverse array of bespoke materials, including wood, bric-a-brac, cold and pressed cotton, crayon, ink and coffee stains.