Portrait of Kenturah in her studio

Kenturah Davis

Portraits drawn from the written word

“I often think about the nature of our encounters with other people as layered experiences, so my work should be the same way”

Kenturah Davis creates intimate portraits of Black America. She works in a range of mediums: drawing, painting, sculpture and performance. The history of writing has influenced Davis' work. She questions how we assign meaning to words, and the relation between the written and drawn line. She cites Egyptian and Mesopotamian art as inspirations, because of their rich symbolism. To explore how langua...

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Kenturah Davis was born in California in 1984. She now works between Los Angeles and Accra, Ghana.

Did you know?

Kenturah Davis’ mother was a quiltmaker, and taught her how to sew at a very young age. Her father was a set painter for TV and film. Their work became her initial introduction to the idea of being an artist.


While studying at Yale, Davis took a class on the invention of writing. She realised that weaving came first, and could also be used to encode information. This has informed her work ever since.

Collaborations with Kenturah Davis

Avant Arte and Kenturah Davis have one upcoming collaboration.