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The iconic Faceless series is Warhol’s Marilyn for the Instagram generation. Silhouettes hewn in bold colours pay homage to our favourite idols and show far more than just a pretty face.
Renowned for her vibrant use of acrylic paint and block colour style, Spanish artist Coco Dávez’s striking Faceless works are a smooth blend of rich, contrasting colours, and dark shadows. Coco’s subjects are a diverse mix of cultural and historical influences ranging from celebrities, musicians and artists, to film characters and cartoons. Interweaving pop art with neorealism, large, radiant canvases convey recognisable characteristics, clothing or accessories to help distinguish each idols identity, “Faceless brings together the joy of colours and my comic side, it’s my creative engine. Some people have an aura around them, a specific colour that expresses who they are.”
Engaging with the dialogue of society’s obsession with icons, Coco’s work pays tribute to her influences by elevating them beyond their traditional iconography. Each elusive deconstructed image invites the viewer to pause for thought and partake in a playful albeit nostalgic guessing game. Often described as creating ‘art for the digital age,’ Dávez stumbled across her signature style by accident. “It’s funny – I was painting a portrait of Patti Smith and the result was horrible. 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.”
Coco Dávez was born in 1989 in Madrid and is the alter-ego of Valeria Palmeiro. Self-taught and passionate about experimenting with different artistic mediums such as fashion illustration, photography and painting, Dávez began her career in London while working as an illustrator for Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Instantly recognised on social media for her exquisitely bright, identifiable style, Dávez transitioned to painting and was tipped by performance artist Marina Abramović as one to watch in the art world, prompting Forbes to include her in their 2019 ’30 under 30’ arts and culture list.
Now based in Madrid, Coco has found global success having sold out her debut UK solo exhibition ‘Faceless’ at Maddox Gallery Westbourne Grove. Dávez has also gone on to collaborate with a coterie of notable brands including Chanel, Dior, Kenzo, Prada, Puma and Samsung and in May 2019 was commissioned by Netflix to create the artwork for the hit series Stranger Things.
“Colour and shape are the central tenets of Davez’s work – the directness of the figures represented belies a certain complexity”