Mike Davis is a modern surrealist painter, who currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. Possessing a multi-faceted set of interests, Davis began painting in 1997, and attributes much of his inspiration to watching his mother pursue craft projects during his childhood, and immersing himself in art history throughout his career. From helping his mother with activities ranging from woodworking, hand-tooling leather, and remodeling the family’s home, to engaging with ancient art and Netherlandish painting from the Northern Renaissance, Davis is a self-taught painter, who continues to render complex paintings of surrealist life, embedded with symbols of mortality, folly, and hubris, fixated within whimsical compositions.
In addition to painting, Mike Davis is a musician and woodworker as well the owner of an internationally renowned tattoo shop, Everlasting Tattoo.
His paintings have been acquired for permanent collections of museums and his work has been featured in many publications, such as Juxtapoz Magazine; Hi-Fructose; Art Ltd.; Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art; Tatt Book: Visionaries of Tattoo; Beyond Tattoo; and several high traffic art blogs. Davis has tattooed an extensive list of international and celebrity clientele, and is featured in a number of prestigious private art collections located throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, and much of Europe.
“I started tattooing in 1988 as a result of getting tattoos and becoming fascinated with the process. I never apprenticed under anyone because in those days it was much more difficult and expensive and just really wasn’t available to me. I struggled a lot trying do the best i could – I spent a lot of time hanging around the shop where i got all my first tattoos and learned quite a bit from Dana Brunson whom i credit with getting me into tattooing. Eventually moving to San Francisco in 92 , i met Aaron Cain – I learned so much working with him about tattooing and, more importantly, art in general. San Francisco was a great place to be at tattooer then. There was so much happening in the tattoo world there.
I try to keep my art and my tattooing separate. First, they are two very different mediums – painting has very few limitations where tattooing has very strict parameters to stay within. Also with tattooing you are dealing with a customer and you often don’t have the freedom to do what you want. People often refer to tattoos as permanent – actually it is one of the least permanent mediums you can work in.” – Mike Davis (Love and Dishwasher Tablets)