Cynthia Davis


Cynthia DavisMy hand-altered, color Polaroid SX-70 photographs of still lifes and urbanlandscapes are very painterly and textural having an evocative, dreamlikequality.

I believe that one purpose of art and of the artist is to explore andreveal alternate realities. Photography’s intrinsic nature perpetuatesthe perception of realism in the eye and mind, yet is an illusion that iscapable of revealing much more than that. In my work I explore varyingaspects of this fascinating duality challenging the viewer and myself toexamine these particular ambiguities as well as our own relationships toreality. I choose to use innovative photographic processes to achievethis purpose.

The colored emulsion of the SX-70 Polaroid film is soft at first, almostthe consistency of wet paint. With the aid of a magnifier and finestyluses, I physically manipulate the layers of this soft emulsion toachieve painterly textures and lines. NO PAINT, FILTERS OR COMPUTERS AREUSED. Next, I rephotograph the small Polaroid with a 4X5 camera andenlarge the image, which further enhances its textural qualities andscale. I personally print these enlargements myself on the most archivalpaper available today in signed and numbered limited editions of 250prints per image.

I also work in the Polaroid Emulsion Transfer technique. In this processI completely separate and remove the thin image layer (emulsion) from thebase of the film. I then shape the emulsion and transfer it ontohand-made papers and other surfaces. The results are a delicate yetsurprisingly three- dimensional intertwining of image and object. Theimages are transformed into shapes with new life and movement. The VeilSeries has become my signature work in this innovative process.


  • 1974 Graduated BFA, University of Colorado
  • 1975-77 Apprenticed Denver Art Museum, Photography Department
  • 1987 Studied with John Reuter in manipulated Polaroid techniques
  • Current: Continual independent study of creative, color darkroomtechniques and photography, specializing in manipulated Polaroidtechniques.

Numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries, universities andmuseums. Most notably:

  • International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum,
  • University of Tampa
  • University of Colorado
  • Rockford College
  • University of Miami
  • Boulder Center for Visual Arts
  • CG Rein Galleries.

Numerous. Most notably:

  • The Polaroid Corporation
  • Walt Disney World
  • International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Vero Beach, FL Museum of Art
  • Univ. of Colorado
  • Univ. of Tampa

Over 100 major awards from major art festivals in the nation as well asnational competitions, including many Best-in-Show and First inPhotography awards. Grant recipient from Polaroid Corp.

Detailed resume and show schedule available upon request.

Ann Arbor, MI
Home: 734-761-5698

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