Not very long after I moved into the Old North End neighborhood, I met photographer and artist Tim Davis
, known for his abstract photographs of everyday objects that often look more like paintings than pictures.
When we first met, Davis was coming into his own. His work was being shown in galleries in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Santa Fe, and he quickly found himself running out of space in the extra bedroom of his house where he printed the work.
Soon after, he broke ground on a southwestern-style studio behind his house, a space where he can print his photographs as large format Giclee prints, host openings and mentor other artists.
A retired teacher, Davis explains that he revisited his teenage passion for photography again in 2000, while was teaching night classes at Doherty high school.
Davis’ hallmark is to photograph an object, perhaps the side of rusty train or sea-weary fishing boat found along the Maine coastline. And when he takes a picture, it is strikingly different. The composition and colors of his abstracts often remind you of a surreal landscape. And they are endlessly engaging.
“When I tell people these are photographs and not paintings, they usually want to know what the photograph is of. But that’s not really important to me.”
What is important, he says, is what the viewer sees in the picture without the need for context.
“That’s the thing about abstract work; for the viewer to get anything at all, they have to engage with it,” he says.
Beside the contemporary collectors who eagerly snap up his abstract photographs, Davis enjoys a following among local artists, too. His reputation as a mentor, willingly giving advice and counsel, is something that has grown on him over the years. He works both as a printer and a collaborator who helps artists promote, exhibit and display their work.
“Part of my mission as an artist is to help other artists on their journey,” Davis says.
I look forward to September every year, when Davis releases his annual poster calendar
with some of his latest pictures. His calendar is a piece of art that, unlike his large framed pieces, can be easily displayed in the home. And while collectors pay hundreds for his original pieces, Davis says he loves making the calendar because it’s easy to do and everyone gets to enjoy it.
The Jury is Out
Each month is a separate poster, and a different image each month offers a striking color, mood and interpretation. It’s up to the viewer to decide what it is they’re looking at and how they feel about it, but Davis' selections are appropriate.
“I try to find something that feels like the month,” he says.
are beautiful, rich in color and texture and his calendar is a great way to enjoy his work without spending hundreds on an original.
Colorado Springs wedding photographer Sean Cayton loves remarkable photographs and the stories behind them. You can see his wedding work at caytonphotography.com, his personal work at seancayton.com and his editorial work in the Colorado Springs Independent. Submit your photo and the story behind the image - no more than two a week, please - to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration in upcoming blogs.