ARTIST:

Nathan Cash Davidson

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Nathan Cash Davidson
Aphorism By The King To Destroy Forever, 2012
Oil on board
122 x 91 cm

Nathan Cash Davidson
Your flee not fear cauldron stirring wounds, 2015
Oil on canvas
214 x 153 cm

Nathan Cash Davidson
So It Is Decreed And So It Shall Be Done, 2010
Oil on canvas
163 x 122.5 cm

Henry VIII strides out of the painting, his unwieldy gold chain glittering, his eyes staring glassily ahead, a severed female head held aloft behind him, and seems to intone the title of the painting itself - So It Is Decreed And So It Shall Be Done. If the title seems a bit too extravagantly theatrical to be genuine Tudor, it’s because it is: Henry’s dead eyes and tumbling jowls are those of his Madame Tussauds mannequin, painted by Nathan Cash Davidson in a style of semi-detached sarcasm. In Davidson’s paintings, historical and imagined narratives are told as though half-heard, half-understood, but the space in his works is conversely overstuffed, both gesturally and pictorially, like the dummy Henry with his enormous shoulders.

Nathan Cash Davidson
Angelic Fever, 2010
Oil on board
40 x 30 cm

There’s a joyous abundance in Davidson’s paintings, a delight in the historical anachronism of the act of painting. In Angelic Fever, St Michael slams the Devil in the neck with a bendy pole, while a thicket of branches in the background (culled from an image found online of a snow-capped wood) struggles for pictorial supremacy. Disregarding pictorial niceties (anatomical accuracy, compositional logic, tonal consistency) means Davidson’s painting is invested with the immediacy of a story told by an excited child: words tumble out, in whatever order they happen to appear.

Nathan Cash Davidson
The Executioner, 2010
Oil on canvas
214 x 122 cm

Nathan Cash Davidson
Nobody Can Stop The Wooden Top Boy, 2008
Acrylic on canvas
76 x 60 cm

And in Nobody Can Stop The Wooden Top Boy, a scene from a surreal fairy tale written by the artist, a stag half-grimaces, half-grins at a stern older woman appearing by a waterfall: that sheepish, secretly delighted smile epitomises the gleeful picaresque of Davidson’s painted world.

Nathan Cash Davidson
Judith's Room 2, 2010-2011
Oil on canvas
120 x 90 cm

Text by Ben Street

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