Davidson followed a long and often arduous journey to becoming an artist, which led him from a job as a lending banker to that of a janitor, and finally to his dream of being a fulltime artists. After graduating from San Ramon Valley High School in 1991, he graduated from CSU Northridge with a degree in business administration. But, disillusioned with the banking industry by the mid 90s, Davidson quit his Los Angeles job and returned broke to his native Danville and with no immediate prospects of earning money. "My family and friends thought I had lost my mind and my former employers thought I was nuts."
While working in the corporate sector, landscape paintings had become his outlet. Unlike business art felt natural to Davidson. "I was being called upon by a high power to create art that would move people in a spiritual way." Months after he moved back to Danville a sympathetic family member offered him a night janitor job. Instead of managing people he found himself cleaning toilets and emptying garbage to make a living and pursue his dream. Years later Davidson developed a cleaning company that, to this day, offers him the freedom to paint full time.
Davidson began painting professionally in 2000. Primarily he paints figures, biblical stories and landscapes. "Art feels natural to me," Davidson says, "I believe everyone has a purpose in life and mine was to be a painter. My journey was fraught with danger and there were no guarantees of success. It truly was a leap of faith."
Once Davidson unveiled his "Jonah Inside the Whale" painting, one of a series of Jonah works, he was judged critically for its powerful religious imagery. "Paintings don't always have to be beautiful. "I wanted to show a dark, more realistic vision, focusing on Jonah's suffering and then redemption."
This project is a view from above of Mother and Christ. I had approximately 17 pieces of glass painted solid colors completed some months ago. Several weeks after the shooting tragedy I counted the 17 squares and realized there were 17 victims as well. So I decided to paint each victims face inside a piece of glass. Christ has suffered bullet wounds. And Mother of Christ prays over his dead body. And prays over all of the children and adults killed. This was incredibly hard to paint. Long days and sad days looking at these beautiful kids and painting them. I realized during this difficult process that the loss of life was more than we can fathom. 17 souls taken. I only hope the families can find peace in Christ."
Kevin Davidson shares a studio at 524 Hartz Ave., Danville, CA, USA, with several Danville artists. His paintings range in price from $500 to $5,000. You can email Davidson at email@example.com
Kevin Davidson took part in the Arte e Fe exhibition at the Catholic World Youth Days in Madrid, 2011. To read more about this exhibition, click here