Davey Friday Is Heavily Influenced By The Late 19th/Early 20th-Century Art Scene

Introduce yourself

I’m Davey Friday, a 23-year-old visual artist, curator, and biologist from the south side of Chicago. I started painting in March of 2014 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in December of 2016. 

When did you first start getting into art?

I’ve been drawing my entire life but got into art seriously after being suspended from DePaul University in 2014. I was depressed and lost that semester and Summer I took off from school and picked up painting to keep my mind preoccupied. I became obsessed with art history and different techniques and followed the rabbit hole deeper and deeper into artistry. 

I love going into the meaning of artists work. After looking through your work, I want to go into the meaning behind a few of your pieces. First, Incarceration of The Image

The Incarceration of the Black Male Image is rooted in how complex blackness operates in this society. Everyone across cultures uses black style, music, and culture for value, while paradoxically condemning us as criminals and second-class citizens. 


Second, A Portrait of My Irrationalities 

The Portrait of my Irrationalities is a self-portrait reflecting on the nonsense statements that sometimes cripples me from sharing myself and my work with the world. It’s an ode to those moments when I don’t feel talented or feel like a fraud. 


And last, your series, The Blue Interlude: An Exercise of Organization and Planning

The Blue Interlude Series is my attempt of finding what things I like stylistically, what sources of inspiration I want to draw from, what staples of my own work I like the most, and planning my future as an artist. It’s also a nod to Picasso’s blue period and Jay-Z’s Blueprint albums. 

When I look through a few of your paintings, it reminds me of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy era cover work. Surrealism, style influence. How would you describe your artwork?

My work is heavily influenced by the late 19th/early 20th-century art scene pioneered by Picasso, Dali, and Magritte. Cubism and Surrealism are my staples. Though I fall into the category of contemporary painter because of the era in which I was born, I truly feel like a modernist at heart. George Condo is also a tremendous inspiration of mine, and MBDTF is easily my favorite rap album.

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They have always said painting is a dying medium, but it seems as if it has had a major revival over these past couple of years. Why do you think that is?

I think in an era where ignorance is being spread rampantly like a disease, people are trying to find truly authentic, intellectual work and some of the most thought-provoking and entertaining people are artists. I also believe materialism is being valued less and less, and people want to own something of meaning, not something that looks pretty but adds no value spiritually. Art has always been a reflection of the times and a healing agent for wounded cultures, and we are entering a time where that healing is needed again. 

On top of creating art, you’re also into hosting art shows/events. Going into 2018, can we expect more of those?

In 2018 I aim to add curator to my titles, so we can undoubtedly expect many more shows, both with my own work and in collaboration with other talented artists.