Toby Davis is equal parts urban historian, documenting the structures and forms that shape a community, and modern artist, capturing the pulse of the city and re-creating those reflections, angles, and bursts of color in oil on canvas. “I like working with the perspectives and lines that come with a cityscape—busy scenes that involve traffic, lights, and signs,” Davis says. “I like trying to capture the energy and beauty of an urban environment.”
Lately the artist has been focusing on window-display reflections. “I love the way the interior scene melts together with the reflection and creates abstract shapes,” he says. “They get complicated, but I enjoy the challenge.”
Davis, who lives in Eagle, ID, earned a bachelor’s in fine art from Boise State University after studying at Portland State University in Oregon and the Scottsdale Artists’ School. He recently gained confidence and learned a valuable lesson when he was one of two artists chosen for a corporate commission. “The world is filled with people who want to limit you in some way, who will say, ‘You’re not ready yet, you’re not what they’re looking for, you haven’t earned it,’” Davis says. “Don’t do their work for them by eliminating yourself from the competition before it starts. Be bold and take on every opportunity that comes along.” Davis’ work can be seen at The Gallery at Finer Frames in Eagle, ID, and at www.tobydavisart.com.
Southwest Art Magazine July 2016
"Art in the Rockies"
The French have a term for people like Toby Davis: "flaneurs." In the mid-18th century, flaneurs walked city streets displaying a mild distaste for the speed and complexity of modern life, a fascination with people and a keen sense of beauty.
Davis (tobydavisart.com) has put miles on his sneakers moving along the triangle of cities between Los Angeles; Seattle, Wash.; and Boise in search of subjects for his oil paintings.
Check out some of Davis' flaneur-istic meditations on everything urban, from SoCal fashion to the City of Trees on a drizzly day at Evermore Prints (780 W. Main St.) while partaking of food and drink from The Mode Lounge.
Boise Weekly August 2016