Christa David is a visual artist, writer and researcher. Inspired by the artistic works of Romare Bearden, Wangechi Mutu, Alma Woodsey Thomas and literary works of James Baldwin, Christa David fuses the mediums of painting, collage and assemblage to create and recreate stories about home, belonging, faith, and identity. In September 2016, after years of “making art in the cracks” (nights and weekends) along-side her demanding work as senior public health researcher New York City, Christa David leaped into making art full-time. Christa David is proud two-time Columbia University Lion, holding Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees from Columbia University. Her work is held in personal and public collections throughout the United States including the prominent David C. Driskell Center and has been most recently exhibited at Longwood Gallery at Hostos College in Bronx, NY and PRIZM Art Fair at Art Basel in Miami Beach. Christa David currently lives and works between New York City and Atlanta.
In my artwork, context, specifically story, is essential. Using materials sourced from historical archives, vintage and contemporary magazines and newspapers, I cut and compose mostly intimate-sized narrative collages that describe my thoughts about the stories I’ve heard and told about myself and others. My abstract paintings combine color and expressive brushwork work to communicate my feelings about these same stories. Each discipline allows me to tackle the same idea but from different starting points; my collages show me what I think and my paintings show me how I feel. Through my praxis, I am learning that feelings, circumstances, and histories – personal and collective, real or imagined – shape these stories. I am deeply curious about the origins of these stories, the actors in these stories, and the circulation of power in these stories. I use my work to sort out my feelings and thoughts about the complex and enduring mark of structural racism in the United States and its impact on my life/body and the lives/bodies of those who look like me. Currently, my collage work focuses on the stories of Black and Brown people (myself included) existing in and outside of spaces (material and immaterial) – spaces created by others and spaces created by us. And my abstract mixed-media paintings communicate through color, raw and irregular mark-making, symbology (real and imagined), and embellishments, what these spaces feel like. The resulting work ranges in scale from intimate (9×12 inches) to life-sized (60 x 96 inches).