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Davon Brantley

Visual Artist 

Exhibition: Chapter 2: I Don’t Know if You Exist Here…

February 26 - April 5, 2025 Burton D. Morgan Gallery 

Davon Brantley, a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, intricately weaves self-portraiture and psychology into his artistic endeavors. His inspiration springs from the dissociative behaviors resulting from trauma and the repetitive cycles inherent in such experiences. Within his work, Brantley leads the audience through personal narratives that explore colorism, racial stereotyping, and reflections on themes like death, life, sexuality, and masculinity. By utilizing his own image, he challenges viewers' expectations based on identity, creating a platform for contemplation on shared or diverse experiences.

In his artistic journey, Brantley acts as a guide, leading the audience through a mental landscape resembling a theatrical play. Employing dramatic compositions, absurd realism, and playing all the roles himself, he presents characters expressing various emotions and themes. The larger-than-life-sized pieces offer a glimpse into his mental world and its inhabitants, bringing invisible aspects into tangible existence.

For his Akron Soul Train residency, Davon delves into the concept of Purgatory and its relationship to the experience of grief, drawing from his personal journey following his grandmother's passing. This psychoanalytical study incorporates references from the Divine Comedy's poetry and visual imagery, as well as psychotherapy. The exhibition incorporates sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installations to convey the intricate layers of this emotional exploration.

Davon Brantley
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