Joshua Davison’s three-dimensional hydrangeas and other blooms began as an exploration of color theory. “As my thought process and work has developed, these flower studies have evolved into a complex balancing act between symmetry, saturation, and contract,” he tells Colossal.
Based in New Zealand, the 23-year-old artist has honed his process, allowing him to produce thick-petaled flowers with a single palette knife. He uses a combination of oil and acrylic paints and builds them up in layers on a solid canvas to create each sculptural piece. Always sticking to a tight color palette, Davison sometimes utilizes precise gradients to capture every shade of blue and purple.
The artist sees a strong tie between art and nature and strives to be incredibly realistic. At this stage in his practice, Davison is focused on mastering form and methods. “I develop most of my techniques exempt from external influence,” he says. “We are so saturated with content of all kinds that I think in some ways it can stunt our creativity. I think it’s so important to consistently disconnect and explore concepts in your own mind.” While he considers nature to be art’s foundation, his details his approach to originality as follows:
As a traditional painter, I also think it can seem as though we live in a world where everything’s already been done. I believe the term original is very loosely thrown around these days and that true originality is incredibly rare but something that can be worked towards and earned. The prospect of one day achieving truly original work is the single biggest motivator for me as an artist.
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