Denis Davydov

Denis Davydov is a multimedia artist working with computer-generated imagery (CGI). He graduated in 2008 with a BA in Design from the Tashkent Institute of Architecture and Construction. In his freshman year, he received an award from Render Re, an independent community of CGI artists. In 2012, his project Units of Lust was presented as part of a group exhibition by SYE Foundation at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris. Pursuing a career as an independent computer graphics artist, Davydov joined N3 agency, developing CGI content for brands including Microso[, CCTV, Samsung, NBC, Ford and Bloomberg. Davydov's projects have received more than 10 Adobe Behance awards (“Editors' Choice” and “3D Gold" categories). In 2020, Davydov founded Instigators, a group of art practitioners and crypto enthusiasts united by the desire to investigate and work in the sphere of non-fungible tokens (NFT) In recent works, Davydov explores the symbolic heritage of the early Internet era and the migration of eclectic visual images of Central Asia into the modern reality of late capitalism. Davydov develops the theme of retroactive nostalgia for rapidly disappearing images of national cultures, particularly in the Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. He is interested in the clash of 20th century historical narratives, fictions of cultural authenticity and cra[ tradition with new media and in the analysis of NFT culture.

Lola (from the series JONIM)

In his last series of video sculptures JONIM, Denis Davydov studies the migration of the symbolic heritage of the early and late Internet age and the eclectic visual imagery of Central Asia into the present-day reality of late capitalism in its death throws. JONIM (Uzbek ‘dear’, ‘darling’, ‘my soul’) is the result of many years of study of the seemingly lost traditions of the artist’s native land. The work derives from the author’s interest in the oldest surviving Central Asian tradition – ceramics. Davydov focuses on children’s toys and the process of the transmission of the sculptural tradition, as toys (which were often whistles) were made for celebrations, after which they either stopped working or were thrown away. Thus, the form of the object had to be invented anew every year. During the pre-Islamic period, toys had pagan forms – horse, bull, bird or human being. After the arrival of Islam, forms became increasingly abstract yet did not lose their figurativeness altogether. Following the creation of the USSR, toys entered a new phase of cultural evolution, becoming part of the Soviet tradition of decorative porcelain and serving as everyday household items rather than ritual objects. In his series, Davydov does more than just bring together all the stages of the evolution of the craft or find a common denominator that would be adequate to present-day needs. Instead, he makes an attempt to capture his native country’s ethnic and cultural worldview as a whole as it is embodied in material items – a worldview that formed collectively over the ages from generation to generation, from master to pupil.