Original inspiration: Gustav Klimt - Lady with Fan, 1917
Museum-exhibited visual artist, painter, crypto artist, diamond and multi-platinum music executive, producer, and songwriter Otha “Vakseen” Davis III, was born to a military family in Athens, Georgia, spending most of his formative years in Jacksonville, Florida. Best known for his vibrant acrylic portraits, Vakseen grew up artistically inclined; drawing, painting and playing several instruments including the violin.
Not often is art characterized as a “panacea,” but Vakseen is a multi-hyphenate whose art has been described by one of his collectors as having “the ability to set the stage for a much-needed therapy session that challenges one to get to the root of any issues hindering progress or living one’s best life.” His pseudonym “Vakseen” (which he also uses as a producer and songwriter) represents being the cure in life. He believes “you can complain about the things in life, or we can be the cure and make the change!” And, his art serves as his own antidote to maintaining sanity in the fast-paced entertainment industry, where he also works as a music executive head of Vakseen LLC, a company specializing in A&R Management, Production, Songwriting and Artist Development.
While working on hit records have played a driving force in his almost 20-year long career, Vakseen has been an active contemporary realist painter since moving to Los Angeles in 2011. The self-taught creator is known for two distinct bodies of work: “Vanity Pop” and his “Legends Only” series.
“Vanity Pop” celebrates diversity & the acute imperfections & endless perfections that exist within every woman. Although most observers mistake his work as a collage or mixed media art, each creation is in fact meticulously hand painted to blur the boundaries between perception and reality. By juxtaposing his subjects with diverse “perfect” features, Vakseen believes it speaks to the fragmentation within us all as we strive for acceptance in a world full of unrealistic standards.
“Legends Only” is a series that celebrates Vakseen’s favorite pop icons and cultural icons. These vibrant portraits are created to celebrate his love for pop culture and to keep their legacies alive, while connecting people worldwide through shared admiration. “Everything about our culture is preserved through art and the youth, so I just wanted to create something that could be shared with my son or my grandmother and still have the same impact. Music is so powerful, and I love how it connects us ALL.”
Currently based in Los Angeles, Vakseen’s art has been featured by major brands like the History Channel, NAACP, Nike, Adidas, Vans, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Tupac Shakur’s estate, as well as Bo Diddley’s estate. In addition to being sold to collectors and art enthusiasts, his work has been shown in countless gallery exhibitions (WMOCA, MOCA Cleveland, African American Museum of Dallas, Soho House London, Scope Art Show, Art Basel, LA Art Show, Thinkspace Projects, Ontario Museum of History & Art and Brownsville Museum of Fine Art) and featured in over 100 print & online magazines worldwide (American Art Collector, Forbes, Artnet, Hi-Fructose, Complex, Coindesk, Architectural Digest, Buzzfeed, LA Weekly, Fine Art Connoisseur, Juxtapoz Magazine).
With celebrity collectors and television features in hit shows like HBO’s “Insecure”, FX’s “Snowfall,” HBO’s “Rap Sh!t”, Peacock’s “Bel-Air”, Hulu’s “Reasonable Doubt”, and more, Vakseen’s rapid rise has been seismic. His aim is to produce art that consistently ignites discussion, captivates the senses, and connects people with his culture. Whether you catch a glimpse of Vakseen’s work in a television scene, on a billboard, magazine page or in-person at a gallery, one thing is for certain, his work will take you on an unexpected journey, laying witness to the thoughtful execution of composition and the tangible emotions the pieces invoke. A viewer is guaranteed to feel differently after catching a glimpse of Vakseen’s treasured artistry.
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