If I could name my existence in one sweep it would be that I am gloriously skeptical and cynical. Not in my own eyes of course, but in the disguise of a progressing day, I remain stumped and frustrated. My relationship with self is almost the patient and caretaker. I not only process the trauma within me, I name it. However recently it’s become very apparent that my methods and deep internal questions about myself have nothing to do with a Genius I am actually right on point with the millions of Americans who are very much aware about the…

“Ery body Hate Joe!” 2021, Shuriya Davis, Oil on Glass, Oil on Canvas, Canvas on Canvas

The jarring moment in the amazon television series “THEM” stood out to me amongst many scenes about the horrific failures of the great American Migration. Henry Emory finally defeats his demented alter psyche, a manifestation of early American blackface. What nudged me harder wasn’t the violent gunshot to Henry’s blackfaced alter psyche’s head; it was the true reveal behind the darkly painted villain. Because up until that point I had almost identified myself with this villain, his isms and reflections on the white middle class families surrounding Henry are twisted and evil yet truthful and at times heartwarming. But upon…

Broad City, Season 2, Episode 10

Critique lives outside of our lives in unpredictable occurrences. I remember scrolling through instagram explores page and stoping on a clip of a black podcast host sharing why he felt that it was important for black children to be disciplined by their parents. He made the point that black parents must train their children to fear the consequences of their actions, and though I’ve heard sentiments like this before, in barbershops and churches in the south, it had never dawned on me that my father intentionally raised me with a fear of authority and more importantly of the consequences for…

The Indignation, Shuriya Davis 2020

“I’m not allowed to appreciate them because they’re mean to me? That’s silly”

Queerness is a fairly new identity for myself, I would not have defined myself as queer, gay or trans in my past, partially because queerness felt so distant from me, there was an image of two white fit men that engrained into my subconsciousness, that queerness was a white thing or a construct of white people. But leaving my hometown of Fresno, from where I spent most of my life, I experienced on RISD’s campus a more nuanced exchange between the queer students who pretty much…

“We All Must Deal With The Monster Within” 2020, Shuriya Davis

“For when the pastor asked me, with that marvelous smile, Whose little boy are you? my heart replied at once, Why yours.”

James Baldwin

To become a studio artist there takes an awful amount of energy, not just labor and rent but physically there takes a mental toll. The process of slowing down, reanimating, scraping away and rendering, the studio can be a brutal space so it is important to study one’s own relationship towards the studio.

Although I find myself enjoying Baldwin’s gimmick of using writing as a ticket to freeing himself from poverty, it can be…

“The Help” 2020, Shuriya Davis

“Everything that matters comes from within, internal not external. You can respect that, embrace that, appreciate that and understand that you have a shared brokenness, a shared potential to transcend your circumstances within and without.”

— Nathaniel Mary Quinn

I understand that most people do not have a means of liberating their bodies from their job occupation. Not everyone has the ability to think individually, to critique, or day dream about which direction might be restorative and which direction could be damaging. But somewhere in our intentionality we must fight to be our full selves so that we can eventually…

Living in America is living in a system that seems to exhaust productivity and efficiency. I believe that in this we become all genders. We manipulate gender and racial identities to go further than our means to provide for everyday life and survival. In some way we barter ourselves with racist white patriarchy for the desire to obtain more than it would naturally allow. We condone racist white patriarchy. We cherish, flaunt, and exchange it, attempting to gain something beyond us.

“ I did feel like a tomboy growing up but I was never the type to be gay or…

shuriya davis

shuriya davis is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer exploring the politics of body, race, and gender. she is based in Oakland, California

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