Nai Davis' 2018 Confrontation Series consists of studio portraits that were photographed, printed, cut out, collaged (both digitally and analogously), and scanned. The project began in 2018 for their senior thesis project at Parsons, The New School for Design where they received their BFA. This ongoing project by Davis was shot with friends and people that they met through social media.
These mixed media collages call attention to the often ignore dynamics between the viewer and the subject. The gaze from the subject, almost automatically, confronts the viewer. Through this series, Davis examines the historical context around Black features, by placing emphasis and exaggeration around the faces and bodies of the subjects. This is what allows for viewers to confront their preconceived racialized notions around Black aesthetics and expressions. Davis names each portrait after the subject to honor them as a part of a collaborative process, and as a means to celebrate and embrace expressions within the Black identity that have been deemed grotesques and or undesirable.
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