Matty Davis is an artist and choreographer originally from Pittsburgh, where his grandfather workedin the steel mills and his dad’s plane crashed. He grew up as a multi-sport athlete, which exposed him to visceral experiences of surface, injury, resilience, and play that continue to influence his interdisciplinary practice. Often collaborative—with other people, the land, and histories—his work begins with movement, mining and cultivating the body’s resources. Empathy, trust, coordination, and energy become key improvisational tools for the navigation of unpredictable relationships and undertakings. In constant dialogue, the body marks the world and the world marks it, amidst an ongoing search for transformation and connection.
While centered on performances that take place in a wide range of settings--from theaters to Mt. Whitney, from backyards to the Ouachita National Forest--his work spans drawing, sculpture, video, and books. It has been presented by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Palais de Tokyo, the Max Ernst Museum, Printed Matter, Pioneer Works, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Steppenwolf Theater, and the 92nd St. Y, among others. In addition to his own work, he has performed works with or by Hito Steyerl, Guido van der Werve, David Hallberg, Francesco Vezzoli, and Tino Sehgal. In 2016, Davis was awarded a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and in 2019 was named 1 of 25 Artists to watch by Dance Magazine. He has enjoyed teaching masterclasses and workshops at various institutions throughout the US, including New York University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Kansas City Art Institute, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oberlin College, and Kenyon College. He currently lives in Brooklyn, maintains a studio in Peekskill, NY, and is most often working outside somewhere.