Art & Culture

Coco Dávez is the artist modernising pop art

We meet the vibrant creative blending cultural icons and bold colour palettes. In her own words Dávez tells us all about her mesmerising work and the diverse influences that inspire it. Meet emerging Spanish artist Coco Dávez...

My stroke of luck came on the afternoon of the 25 November 2015, when I decided to dig out my paintbrushes and acrylics more than twelve years after I’d last used them. I had recently read Patti Smith’s book ‘Just Kids’, so I decided to pay homage to her by painting a portrait of one of her famous photographs. The result was awful and in my frustration I erased her face with the leftover cadmium red I had. Suddenly, I saw her. Although I couldn’t see her face. I could still see Patti. It was a lucky mistake. The next portrait I painted was of one of my favourite artists – Picasso. This time I deliberately left him without facial features. Both paintings set the precedent for the entire ‘Faceless’ collection.

The selection process comes about very naturally as I like to paint who I feel most inspired by on the day. My idols vary from artists, musicians and designers to TV and film characters, to cartoons. I think the work challenges viewers to think about what constitutes an icon in our society these days, that’s why the inclusion of fictional characters or cartoon characters are a fun addition to the series. The work that will be on display at Maddox Gallery Westbourne Grove, includes many British icons such as The Beatles, Kate Moss, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Princess Diana, Victoria Beckham, David Hockney, Naomi Campbell, George Michael and of course, The Queen!  

I actually began my career in London, so I’m overjoyed that my debut solo exhibition is in the UK. I moved to London from Spain a few years ago and worked as an illustrator for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. I began posting my own artworks on Instagram in 2010 and ever since then it’s been a meteoric whirlwind. I’ve enjoyed many collaborative ventures with luxury lifestyle and fashion brands such as Chanel, Prada, Dior, Kenzo and Vogue. Just recently I was commissioned by Netflix to create the artwork for Stranger Things. It’s been a pleasure to see my artworks recognised across mediums and various industries. It’s an organic process and an integral part of my growth as an artist. 

Now I live and work in Madrid. It’s a great place to be; such a vibrant city that has a great influence on my work. I am constantly observing and drawing inspiration from subjects and places that grab my attention and inspire me. I hope to see my colourful universe grow, which is why it’s so wonderful to have exhibitions in different places around the world. My exhibition at Maddox Gallery will be my biggest show to date – with over 60 Faceless works on display. At different stages in my career or personal life the characters I’ve included in the show are ones I’ve consistently looked up to. Faceless is my tribute to them.

‘Faceless’ is on display 10 – 31 May at Maddox Gallery Westbourne Grove, W2 5RU. @maddoxgallery 

6 May 2019