Sarah Davis

Artist statement about Stars & Cars

I always thought of a body of work as a complete endeavor, like a rock and roll album. With the Beatles every project marked a new style. Or Pink Floyd, the Dark Side of the Moon, the Wall, and Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking. Or the Pixies, an evolution. In 1998 I moved to New York and between then and 2006 I had made 5 “albums”: VELVET, FOREST, INTERIORS, ALICIA IN CONVERSATION and STILLS.

By the end of 2006 through 2007, the art world was in a frenzy of growth, and it was thrilling. Collectors were buying avidly, and huge sleek spaces and shows opened in Chelsea, with exciting, glittering parties. I shared a big studio in Soho with my husband Millree Hughes, also an artist. But the spectacle and the day-to-day reality were quite different. The news mirrored this un-reality, as celebrity news alternated with war and finance. Around the time Britney Spears had a yearlong public meltdown, I had an epiphany. It was time for a new album: STARS AND CARS. Walter Robinson has elucidated beautifully all that I intended when I embarked on this body of work, in a 2008 catalogue essay for the gallery SAKS in Geneva Switzerland.

In the summer of 2008 Herb Tam, curator at Exit Art, included two pictures from the STARS AND CARS work in his Summer Mixtape show. I made a compilation CD for that show called The Party’s Over, featuring songs all bearing that name. That fall came the financial crash that changed everything in the art world for a time, a cycle that we are still living out. The STARS AND CARS work has shown in the US and Europe in the intervening years, with additions and expansions. For me, and hopefully for others, it is a lens that is meant to function as an antidote to a certain kind of madness.