Must See Exhibit: The Forty Thieves by Joshua Davies

California born, Colorado bred and New Yorker since 1992, Joshua Davis is an artist, designer, and technologist. Davis attended the Pratt Institute in the early 90s, gaining a background in fine arts, graphic design and programming, the combination of which lends to his innovative work where he marries creative and analytical concepts to produce stunning patterns that are definitely reflected in his new Toronto exhibition, The Forty Thieves.

When Davis travelled Istanbul for the second time, he discovered an old book of Turkish warriors on paper. In their ornate and lavish fighting garb, the artist says, “I was reminded of the story Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves but I vaguely remember the actual story.” After he’d revisited the literature, the artist began to feel badly for the thieves in the original story. It portrays Ali Baba as sort of a clueless character; the man’s success in staying alive is credited to his house servant singlehandedly eliminating the thieves one-by-one. This series pays homage to each of the fallen thieves…with lavish and ornate abstract forms.

Davis writes an artwork agnostic system through code that creates a naturalistic situation for mapping. He illustrates singular assets arranged into banks of drawings organized by theme, and then moves the assets into the developed program, which produces a seemingly random composition based on a structure for creating pattern. Davis then enters a phase he describes as “becoming the critic,” and chooses from infinite possibilities to select 40 villains for the ink drawings. To complete The Forty Thieves, the artist freehand draws and inks to create the final piece.


Curated by Clay Rochemont in concert with SPOKE, the combined forces embark as fans of Davis’s foundational and continually evolving work in the art and design scene. “The beauty is in the flaws,” says Davis of his show, and clearly he has shown us just that. His algorithmic patterns and digital illustrations are boldly streaking with strong design development but hold an fine arts feel that, combined with the rhythmic black and white patterned pieces, creates such a beautiful flow, especially when seen hung side-by-side on Hotel Ocho’s raw back drop.

The fine art exhibition is on now at Toronto’s architectural treasure, Hotel Ocho (195 Spadina Avenue), running through till June 19, 2013. This exclusive show is open to 19+ art hounds and the interested public who is looking to be intrigued by an in-depth process and solid beauty. The 25 hand-drawn compositions, each original 24×60”, are for sale in person or online at The Forty Thieves… so go now and check it out!


YPs, MARK YOUR CALENDARS! May 1st (today) is the opening evening and launch of Toronto’s annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Held throughout the month of May with well over 1500 Canadian and international artists and photographers exhibiting at more than 175 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area, this is a must-not-miss in our creative city!