Robert Clarke-Davis:The Meandering Musings of

Traveling from Place to Place.

Itinerant. Stated simply: to wander.

Robert Clarke-Davis is a

photographer. He wanders every day

harvesting the visual gifts that many

may see as banal. Mr. Clarke-Davis

is a procurer of images.

Mr. Clarke-Davis is always in a state

of digression. It’s refreshing.

Conversations with Mr. Davis are

always an invitation to take a

Socratic Stroll: To take a meandering

musing with a friend. A friend old or

new with Mr. Clarke-Davis

sometimes it can feel like both at the

same time. A conversation with him

can last five minutes and cover

massive amounts subjects or it can

be an hour on the constant

impending death of film in

photography. He is a generous

conversationalist, and one of his

strongest qualities as an educator.

Mr. Clarke-Davis has been and

educator at the School of the Art

Institute of Chicago (SAIC) since

nineteen ninety. He has educated

young artful minds at SAIC longer

than most of his current pupils have

been alive. Students that take to Mr.

Clarke-Davis’ teachings and

reflections commit to his courses

multiple times. This can be attributed

not just to his awkward charisma, his

extensive knowledge of photo

processes, but also to his active

critical understanding of

contemporary art and it intersection

with the Photograph.

Mr. Clarke-Davis is a masterful self-

editor in his work, that is to say he

knows how to select the images and

information his audience needs to

know. His titles often hint to outside

of the “Art World” as he often states

when speaking about titling his

artwork. They are pointers, clues and

both significant and secondary all

congruently. His work can be

described as autobiographical, but

that would be avoiding greater

conversations; we are all in a state of

wandering thru life.

His work is Personal with a capital p.

It’s accessible by any one who has

the privilege to encounter it. To

experience it is know a part of Mr.

Clarke-Davis, and by extension know

oneself. Yet in order to see a print by

Mr. Clarke-Davis it’s a precursor to

know Mr. Robert Clarke-Davis. He

has a web presence, but it doesn’t

come close to being in the presence

of him. That experience is both

Personal and personal.

“I always try to find out things thru

my work not prove things with my

photos.“ Mr. Clarke-Davis

photographs his experiences and it

is after that he formulates a concept,

comes to terms with his exploits, and

produces handsome prints in a very

unique presentation. Photo

Monographs that have simple clean

creases and folds on beautiful

papers, photographs with succulent

blacks, sheep white highlights,

sumptuous grey tones, clean

compositions, and text laid down

with the gentle caress of a surgeons

optic dialogue between Mr. Clarke-

Davis and his recipients or

“collectors”. In his very passionate

diction both declares and stammers

“I don’t give my work to someone

that does not know me” “it is a

conversation… I chose my audience

my audience doesn’t choose me”


(c) 2018Arias.Jose