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Meet the Artist

'Unhappy and happy flow back and forth like a tide making art. I’m working to be OK with that' – TM Davy


'Unhappy and happy flow back and forth like a tide making art. I’m working to be OK with that' – TM Davy
TM Davy - photo by Daniel Rampulla

This June, Artspace is proud to present The Center Benefit Auction, in support of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center) in New York City. A wide range of artists have contributed works to support this NYC institution, including TM Davy.

Even if you haven’t been able to visit a gallery in a while, you might well be familiar with this New York painter’s work. Early in his career, he was commissioned to repaint some of the clouds on the ceiling of the New York Public library.

This dreamy commission foreshadowed Davy’s equally sublime summer, studies on Fire Island. “The intimate pastel-and-gouache works portray friends walking into the waves, lounging on the beach, and floating in turquoise swimming pools,” was how Johanna Fateman put it in a 2019 New Yorker review. “Davy renders likenesses faithfully and fast, with punched-up color and squiggly lines—a casual but doting, even sexy, approach that also extends to his treatment of landscapes.”

The same can be said for the 2019 picture, West, which Davy has contributed to the auction. The pastel and gouache work on paper is an excellent example of this highly acclaimed artist’s oeuvre.

Davy was featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and has had his work shown at MoMA; Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Tate Modern, London, among other institutions. He was also awarded the BOFFO Artist Residency in Fire Island in 2012. Read on to find out a little more about this impressive artist.


 TM Davy - West, 2019

How do you begin and how do you end a work? That question is the trip. Where does a flower start growing?

Who or what is your biggest single influence, inspiration and or motivation? We call our cat little Why. She’s very old and very near, and I sing songs with her like a fountain. “Why? Why? I love you. Why? Why? Between the eyes. Why? Why? You’re so perfect. Why? Why? Never dies.”

What is the thing you’re unhappy with in your work and the one thing that you’re OK with? Unhappy and happy flow back and forth like a tide making art. I’m working to be OK with that.

Tell us about the piece you have in the auction Around that paper was a pallet of gouache, brushes in a cup of ocean, a sun making light of us, a boon of pastel colors. On that paper is the love of my life, a gardener planting himself in the sand.

What are you most looking forward to at the moment? Now is golden. Here maybe if we try.

Go here to find out more about the auction. Established in 1983 as a result of the AIDS crisis, New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center has grown and evolved over the last four decades, creating and delivering services that empower people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center continues to serve the LGBTQ community through virtual support services, launched almost immediately after the building closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center offers a wide range of services including virtual one-on-one counseling; substance use treatment and support groups; virtual youth drop-in space; online arts and culture programming; health insurance navigation and a virtual “front desk” to respond to community inquiries. To show your support, please consider placing a bid.


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