By Je’Don Holloway Talley
For the Birmingham Times
Christopher Davis, 48, is curator of “The Dog and No Pony Show,” a yearly exhibit at Birmingham Artwalk that features clean lines and stark neon coloring.
“I like drawing dogs,” he said. “And I wanted to do something I enjoyed that was fun. I’d always had these little illustrations of dogs that I’d done before, and I just kind of had them hanging around. In 2010, I decided to do art shows, and I had no idea what to do. … Then I remembered, ‘Oh, that dog I drew once before. Maybe I should try that.’”
Davis doodled cats and dogs during his 10 years as a graphic designer for Southern Living magazine.
“Now, they’ve evolved into different colors and have gotten more detailed over the years,” he said. “People seem to like them a lot.
The growth is evident: When I first started doing [‘Dog and No Pony Show’ paintings], they were very simple, the same simple lines I have now, but the colors were just primary. Then I started to get into really crazy colors and tone, a lot of oranges, greens, bright pinks, and neon colors … just really bright and colorful.”
People seem to resonate organically with Davis’s work. The George Washington Carver High School graduate describes his art as very simple.
“You can make a big impact and still have a very simple style,” he said. “It’s very graphic. It’s very iconic.”
Davis, a Birmingham native, studied art at Lawson State Community College and transferred to the Savannah College of Art Design in Georgia to earn his degree in graphic design. Although a graphic designer by trade, “I’ve known I was going to be an artist ever since the age of seven,” he said.
As for the future, Davis said, “I want to get into textiles, doing patterns on textiles, wallpapers, fabrics, and clothes. … I would also like to do more prints of my work because not everybody can get to me to get a painting or afford a painting. So, I’d like to get some very high-quality prints of all sizes and have those to offer, as well.”
Through events like Artwalk, artists like Davis can establish a brand and become household names.
“I feel very humbled by it, too,” he said. “I’m really appreciative that people like the work, and I don’t take it for granted at all.”