CODA Gallery unveils a new exhibition of mobiles, including the debut of a new series, by artist Mark Davis. The exhibition runs Feb. 2-23, with a Feb. 2 opening reception (5-8 p.m. in conjunction with El Paseo Art Walk/Palm Desert First Weekend) attended by the artist from Boston, Mass.
For most people, epiphanies strike when they are adults with an accumulation of life experiences. For Mark Davis, such a moment arrived when he was a 14-year-old living in Indiana and saw a picture of an Alexander Calder mobile. “I felt like it was a part of me,” he recalls. “I went to the hardware store for wire, roof flashing, and cutting shears and created a mobile like his with no knowledge of how to do it. I glued the pieces together because I didn’t know how to solder and made a beautiful copy of Calder’s Snow Flurry with white dots. My parents loved it so much that they hung it over their bed. But each night, some of the glued dots dropped off and woke them up,” he adds laughing over the imagery from his naïve beginnings. Mark continued copying Calder, but eventually found his own voice, hand-forming organic shapes and airbrushing them with color to give them three-dimensional depth. “Now my work is more like a painting in space, where everything moves and, as it moves, the shapes and colors change.”
For the first 15 years of his career as a professional artist, Mark created high-fashion, sculptural jewelry for clients such as Vogue magazine and prestigious department stores in New York City like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. In time, he reverted back to his initial inspiration and passion: mobiles. Over the years, he has added to his repertoire to include a range of sizes of hanging and standing mobiles; then wall-mounted mobiles; and, most recently, mobiles with C-shaped arms attached to bases and measuring 2 feet around and 2 feet high. He is debuting pieces in this latest iteration of mobiles at CODA Gallery’s February exhibition. His largest work features LED-rimmed shapes and measures 70 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 10 feet tall. The installation, Healing Waters, hangs above the driveway entrance to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Another substantial commission is an outdoor sculpture, 19 feet long and 14 feet high, for the private estate of the famed Pritzker family.
Notable collectors include Gary Trudeau, Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards, Richard Chamberlain, Howard Stern, Lexus, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University.