Steven was born and raised in the East End of London where he still has a studio. He graduated with a diploma in Youth & Community Work, a post-grad course in Advertising and Portfolio design and a certificate in Graphic Design.
He has exhibited widely in galleries and art fairs in London, Paris, Miami, Chicago and NY as well as featured in UK newspaper editorial. He has also been published by King & McGraw and the John Lewis Partnership (card and print designs), Top Shop (t-shirts), to name a few.
The art of Davids – like the man himself – defies easy categorisation: diverse in subject matter, medium and materials, his output encompasses cartoon-like doodling and sketches; more complex drawings and paintings on paper; reliefs and sculpture. Found objects and assorted pieces of wood are transformed into highly wrought works which never attempt to conceal their origin but evolve organically into art works, complementing the heritage of the object. Influences are found in the abandoned, the ephemeral, and the strange: objects, toys, packaging design, and black memorabilia. A strong Folk aesthetic jostles with a strong modern urban narrative to bring the old bang up to date and fused with the contemporary. For all the richness of technique on show, there is yet an economy of means which Steven himself describes as “…the art of knowing when to stop”.
Quality of materials is of paramount importance: a momentary inspiration can be made lasting through high quality workmanship and discerning choices: bespoke framing highlights the solidity of dense cold-pressed or cotton bearing pencil, crayon, acrylic, oil paint, ink – or coffee stains. Words and text are often as important as the image. Doodles are enlivened with maxims and catchphrases; sometimes an angry aphoristic scrawl brings to mind the work of Gerald Scarfe or Ralph Steadman: the humour is always meaningful.
There is a deep-rooted and well-informed love of both London and the English countryside. Steven is a knowledgeable admirer of Peter Ackroyd’s many histories of London as a great palimpsest, with that sense of the East End as “London’s dark side” now emerging into the light with its gleaming new spires to complement Hawksmoor’s, Steven’s line portraits of The Shard and St. Pauls’ celebrate this organic growth with simple geometric shapes – just as Avebury Stones appears under a single stroke of blue sky like an egg out of which an unexpected past might hatch to inform the present. Like Ackroyd’s London, Steven’s paintings might be many-layered, the artist’s many marks shallow or deep in to the texture, leaving a strong physical and emotional impression.