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Nai Davis is a Black, trans-masculine, multi-disciplinary artist. Originally born in Chicago, Illinois, they are currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Nai received their BFA in photography from Parsons, The New School for Design. They also recently received their masters degree from NYU, Tisch School for the Arts in the Interactive Telecommunications Program. Nai is a professor in both the Design & Technology and Photography programs at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City.

 

Through multiple disciplines such as photography, performance, mixed media collages, video, and instrumental music, Nai’s work explores expressions in Black life, in regard to race, gender, and po culture. Davis’ work considers an integrative approach to art-making and storytelling by expanding the boundaries of traditional art practices. With an interest in conveying new narratives regarding multi-intersections of Black culture, Nai’s process is driven by the desire for critical engagement through the use of visual and performing arts.

 

Their practice behaves as a cultural study that reflects the aesthetics and values of subcultures within the Africana diaspora. Nai is committed to highlighting underrepresented groups, and rejecting conventional Western depictions of Black life in art and mainstream media. With an interest in generating multi-sensorial content, Davis also creates otherworldly and abstract audio-visual performance installations that use creative technology softwares/hardwares and conceptual art practices to explore multi-dimensional storytelling. Nai provides a unique perspective that draws attention to often ignored dynamics between the storyteller, the viewer and the subject. The work creates a self-autonomous audience by encouraging the confrontation of preconceived racialized notions.

Nai’s influences stem from the south-side Chicago pan-africanist cultural arts scene, the early grassroots of the Hip-Hop Movement, and The Black Arts movement founded in Harlem during the early 1960’s.