American Archives Exhibit: Empire State Building

In his recent solo exhibit, AMERICAN ARCHIVES, encompassing the main entrance of the Empire State Building, New York City, Davidson has assembled bits of antiquity into slices of America’s past. The featured poster image FLAG for example, incorporates these as random time lines. “Objects for American Archives were gathered from antique shops, estate sales, flea markets even E-bay,” says Davidson.

Diversity of the artifacts become the building blocks to Davidson’s eye and imagination AMERICAN ARCHIVES constructions express messages: words, visuals, textures and colors, even aromas familiar to our senses. The artist has defined thematic categories for his materials, storing subject in containers as if they were separate colors of paint put into tubes for later application.

Distinguished American historian/author, Lincoln Diamant defined Davidson’s AMERICAN ARCHIVES works as, “…a party for the eyes!”

Talking about the exhibit featuring selected works from the AMERICAN ARCHIVES series Davidson says, “Its history, its symbolism, its spirit, its architecture are so magnificent, so American. I feel AMERICAN ARCHIVES has found its proper home. I am happy.”

The exhibit encompass the full main entrance of the Empire State Building. Every tourist and business person visiting the building over the three summer month period will pass through AMERICAN ARCHIVES making it one of the most populated art shows ever.

An apt description of artist Charles Davidson is that of an archeo-recycler using his finds as a palette. The textures, forms and subjects of the “found bits of Americana” stimulate his artistic ingenuity. In AMERICAN ARCHIVES the artist has assembled these objects of antiquity, consisting of artifacts discovered and unearthed from flea markets, antique shops, garage sales and even back woods buried trash, into slices of America’s past. FLAG, featured in the show poster as example, is an intricate tapestry of history, incorporates these as random time lines.

“Objects from our past involve to our senses, “Old things smell old”, says Davidson. The patinas and aromas that only time can paint are reference points on the AMERICAN ARCHIVES, timeline, giving us a “sense” of history. This perspective adds emotional context to historical information. It relates us to the feeling of our past not just the subject of it.

The Empire State Building, a great American artifact, is an appropriate setting for Davidson’s art.

Examples of Davidson’s AMERICAN ARCHIVES have been exhibited as one man shows in New York including: The Orensanz Foundation, NYC. The Fine Arts Gallery, SUNY Valhalla. The Flatiron Gallery, Peekskill. The Westchester Council of the Arts and the Black Cow, Croton-on Hudson.