It would be too easy to follow one’s first impression and dismiss Jan Davidoff’s paintings as “figurative art”. In fact, his works are to be positioned on a level between concreteness and abstraction, on which real life scenes are confronted with a deeper meaning. Therefore photographs of travel experiences are being adapted on the computer back at the studio and then reduced to silhouettes, exaggerated and layered in various pictorial planes to set them into re-evaluating and significant contexts.
For example, the crowd paintings are inspired by Davidoff’s experiences in the tourist strongholds all over the world. But at the same time the indifferent background detaches the masses from their object relations and implements a second level of meaning. It is not about a real scene in front of a mighty cathedral or at a strongly frequented fair, it is more about the crowd itself and the role of the individual in its middle. The often used golden background intensifies this detachedness from content by evoking an association with the early Medieval religious icons, in which saints – enraptured from the material world – are painted in front of a golden background. Hence the viewer is confronted with the question about the relation between the individual and the almost overpowering mass. In Davidoff’s paintings the one or other person stands out, because of extraordinary clothing or a specially exposed position. But on the whole the individual person gets lost and only the dominating human crowd remains to be seen, analogical to a beehive. That conjures up a feeling of being lost, but at the same time the will to self-assertion. This way Jan Davidoff manages to communicate one of the most fundamental desires of today’s society, the perception as a unique individual, in his at first so easily as solely “figurative” classified paintings. Soon it is evident, that Davidoff’s works aren’t mere travel impressions, but an evaluation of the constellations of today’s society.
Jan Davidoff was born 1976 in Norden and reached his diploma in painting with Prof. Günther Förg at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, München in 2009. He lives and works in Munich and Utting/Ammersee.