Images sketched at the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression Meeting in Detroit, 1980's.  We began the campaign to free Nelson Mandela by asking for contributions to run ads (in South African newspapers) decrying his imprisonment.  The sketch on the bottom right is Charlene Mitchell, the top right is her son, and the bottom left is a brilliant lawyer working for the international Lawyers' Association.
ILLUSTRATION

In memory of an expressway construction worker.

 

 

 first sketch for

"One episode in the prolonged Free Press Strike"  drawn in

MURALS

2003

 

The Joe Louis Mural

 156 West Congress, Detroit, 1980

POLITICAL ART

The following is only the beginning of a section representing thousands of politically-based paintings and drawings.

Proposed Southwest Detroit's Vernor Highway viaduct

Chaye Olam Synagogue Mural "Creation"

2003

Maple and Inkster, West Bloomfield, MI

This mural is dedicated to the memory of its primary patron, Cantor Stephen Dubov~ for all who knew him, he was a magnificent light that will never dim.

 

The Comerica Bank

 building is a city block square, and is flanked on all sides by panels.  No panel design repeats.  Here are a sampling of six panels (on Lafayette) lit by the late afternoon sun.

        Other sculpture~~

 

    SCULPTURE

 

 

 

                          

 

 

This selection of artwork represents only a very small fraction of Pablo's body of work.  We will rotate new pieces into this website periodically....so check back often!

 

   *If you would like more information about any of the following artworks, or to purchase an original artwork, or to  order a fine art print, please use the  "contact " button on this website's homepage to reach us, and we will reply promptly.

[Photocredits: Antonio Gomez, Las Vegas, Nevada; antonio_gomez@ccsn.edu]

                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                       

Aunt Miriam, 1960

(Available as a fine art print)

My mother's older sister and her little boy; this drawing was used as a poster for the first Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair in 1960.  Dimensions: approx. 16x20 in. Carbon Drawing. Signed- $100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             

               

Courtship, 1937

(Available as a fine art print)

This oil painting called "Courtship" was an illustration I did for a  Saturday Evening Post story by Boothe Tarkington.  Approximately 18x28 in. Signed- $100

 

 

                         

 

 

                                  

 

 

 

 

                       

                   

Wildflowers in a Vase, 1928

(Available as a fine art print)

This work was done in crayon and pencil.  I did this when I was 12 years old.  Approximately 9x12 in.  Signed -$75.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 

         

                          

Josh, 1966

 (Available as a fine art print)

This oil painting depicts my son when he was two and a half years old.  Approximately 16x20 in.  Signed- $100.

 

      

                  

                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family, 1974

(Available as a fine art print)

Oil wash and Carbon.  This is a rendering of myself and my family at the time.  Approximately 22x30 in.  Signed- $100.

 

                                

   

                             

 

 

 

 

Green Madonna, 1970-74

(Available as a fine art print)

Terra vertre oil wash and conte crayon.  At the time of the active women's liberation movement I thought that an earthy Madonna was appropriate, therefore my use of the earth green color.  Approximately 14x22 in.  Signed- $100.

 

 

 

                               

    

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of My Grandmother Untying Knots in My Shoelaces, 1930-35

(Available as a fine art print)

Pen and India ink, broad nib, pen-drawing.  My grandmother was forever untying the knots in my shoes.  Approximately 9x12 in.  Signed- $100

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nude

This watercolor sketch was inspired by Rodin's drawings of nudes.

 

 

                                       

            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coalmining Drawings, 1931

 (shown to Diego Rivera, 1932)

This sheet of pencil drawings was done in Pottsville, PA, where I worked as a miner for the Pocano Mining Company.  I wanted to record images of the lives of my fellow coalminers and their family members.  The woman lying in the center of the page had just died of tuberculosis.  I carried these all the way to Detroit on a boxcar and showed them to Rivera on a break from his work on the great "Detroit Industry" murals in the Detroit Institute of Art.  He said in Spanish, "You're good, and you have a great line."  He took me on as his only assistant to help him actually paint on those murals.

 

 

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

           

Old, Poverty-stricken Man, 1963

Graphite sketch of a man I saw at the Harborlight in Detroit. I looked out of my studio window and was moved to record this man's misery.  For some reason he impressed me, despite his condition.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Untitled

This was inspired by one of Goya's etchings and was drawn in response to my outrage against the mutilation of women.  I show a woman in agony  responding with raw anger toward her tormentor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                             

Les Mis       (Available as a fine art print)

This oil painting was used for a limited edition of Victor Hugo's classic book (published around 1964-5).  Jean Valjean is seen here,  shackled, and in prison. $100 - signed .   Approximately 18 x 24 inches.

 

                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

Lenin's Imperialism, 1951-2

(Available as a fine art print.)

Published in 1917, Lenin's Imperialism was probably the first economic and political analysis of the U.S. emergence as the richest and most dominant capitalistic country in the world.  He showed that the U.S. was allowing an extremely powerful baron class to burgeon (Rockefeller, oil; Carnegie, steel: and Morgan, banking, etc.) which was also becoming wealthy as a result of acquiring colonies that were exploited for their labor force and natural resources.  My point in this piece is to show the economic "superstructure" Lenin described. I want the viewer to be stimulated to wonder what would happen to the wealthy class in the U.S. if these exploited men and women "walked out from under" them (which is what happened in South Africa).  A caricature of Rockefeller, at age 96, can be seen near the top of the structure in this drawing. $100 - signed. Original was done with oil and pencil.  Approximately 8 1/2 x 11 inches.

         

 

 

 

 

 

Love's Entanglements, 1985

The title aptly describes this fresco.

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     

 

Mrs. Moore, 1953

Oil painting on canvas.  A domestic worker for white families sent her four sons through college.  This painting was rejected by the annual DIA exhibit because of civil rights stirrings in Little Rock, Arkansas.  It won first place, however, in the United Nations Western Hemisphere Competition in 1958 (sponsered by UNESCO).  Approximately 24x30 inches. Signed - $100

                              (Available as a fine art print)

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geech, 1947

This pencil drawing was made in Denver County Prison where we were both sentenced for organizing a huge demonstration protesting the murder of 14 year old, Ruben Garcia, at the Colorado State School for Boys.   Geech, aged 19, was the Golden Gloves Heavyweight champion for Colorado at that time.  His mother was the editor of a very successful black-owned newspaper which was forced to shut down as a result of our demonstration.

 

 

 

 

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Pablo Davis

Artwork*

 

 

 

 

              

 

Young Love, 1985?

(Available as a fine art print)

This was done in oil on a gesso ground with carbon pencil, which is a favorite technique of mine because it lends itself to a strong line rhythm and symbolic distortion.   The technique lent itself very well in this piece to emphasize the unity of feeling in a love relationship of the very young.  $100 - signed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pablo's book of art, "Pablo - Echoes of Truth," is in the process of publication.   If you would like to put your name on the list of interested buyers, please use the "contact" button on this website's homepage to send us your name and address.  You will be contacted as soon as copies are available for purchase.

 

 

 

                                       

Cover Artwork :   "Pablo- Echoes of Truth"

 A Playful Moment, 1972

Oil wash on gesso with carbon pencil.  This woman and her first boyfriend, Ricky, were purposefully depicted here in a happy, playful moment because they were both suffering the trauma of his sister's murder.  She had also been the woman's best friend.  I wanted to emphasize to them the beauty of their carefree and loving moments to help them heal from this tragedy.     

Used with permission of painting's owner,  a private collector.

 

 

 

 

 

Pablo designed these panels in the mid-1950's for what was once the Manufacturers' Bank (and is now the Comerica Bank) at the intersection of Lafayette and Cass in downtown Detroit.  The design was inspired by Aztec and Mayan sculpture and was his reaction to the proliferation of glass and steel buildings.  In these designs he undertook to merge monumental Latin American sculpture with contemporary, abstract, expressionist art through the use of new, large-scale, prefabricated concrete technologies.  He used a sandcasting technique and worked with a concrete manufacturer in Flint to produce these sculptures for the building's architects.  To him, the panels evoke the feeling of jazz music and make a statement of character, rugged elegance, and distinctiveness that bring relief from the typical reflective surfaces so typical everywhere else.  For Pablo, it brings a sense of joy, warmth and "human-ness"  to this part of Detroit.

Three views of a prototype for the Comerica panels stored within Pablo's personal collection.

Two more developed experiments with sandcasting.
 

Mural Notes   "A True Mural", P. Davis 

A large painting that may or may not suit the size, shape, architectural style or configuration of the wall, is not a mural.  A big painting out of place is not a mural.  What distinguishes a mural from other paintings is that it is wedded, “married” to the architecture of the wall, the very space, and is in clear harmony. The possibilities of the spatial divisions of the wall lending itself to dynamic unity is the special feature of mural art.  Finally, when it is conceived for public art and is successfully wedded to the outdoor, outside, spatial atmosphere – it’s real surrounding-- then the mural painting takes on a new height, a level of greatness.  The air, the atmosphere, becomes its architectural “wall”.  The painting has the opportunity to become part of nature, provided the artist succeeds in uniting them.

 

Pablo
 

Pablo

Pablo
"Those boys were average high school students.  Nobody thought they had any real artistic potential but look what they produced.  They went all the way from filling up spaces with words to arriving at a painting with this eight foot tall likeness of Joe Lewis.  At the beginning of the project they didn't know who Joe Lewis was - I took them to the library to find out.  The yellow circle to the right of Joe Lewis contains a quote about him from the biography done by Richard Wright.  The quote the boys decided to put up concerns Joe Lewis' decision to fight for world peace in his epic boxing battle with Max Schmeling.  I was so proud of them."  P. Davis

"View of Detroit" late 1970's

Building formerly occupied by Southwest Detroit Community Police near the Southwest Detroit City Hall building. 

This project was part of a summer high school jobs program -each student got a paycheck every week.  The students insisted on painting Detroit with pride even though they considered themselves residents of Dearborn. This painting seems to be very popular...it covers the whole side of a brick building on the edge of a busy parking lot and creates its own scenic environment in this defined space.    [Unfortunately, this photo isn't consistent - two photos were spliced together- and it doesn't show the north end of the mural.  A good image should be coming soon.]

"Plant Justice - Grow Peace"

The Academy of the America's Public School, Detroit, 1990's

This was an absolutely wonderful experience.  Fifty or so of my students got this mural done over six months time in an atmosphere of unwavering support and encouragement from Principal Berna Ravitz.  I consider the quality of this mural to be very good; a beautiful symphony of many individual creative energies.

Labor Mural, "Detroit and Flint Union Struggles", 1976

This design was created for the new Dave Miller UAW building on E. Jefferson.  It deals with the period in Detroit between 1932-7; the depression and the organization of the UAW with emphasis on the historic Flint Sit-Down, as well as the Ford Hunger March.  This sketch was also exhibited in Cobo Hall for an appearance by Angela Davis. It was exhibited again at the Grandville Presbyterian Church in 1977 commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Flint Victory of the workers.  Final size: 18 feet by 60 feet.

A better image of the complete mural is also on the way here.  This picture fails to show the students' depiction of Cezanne's four forms, and the beautiful gold floral border that Fran Fletcher so generously helped paint (in the bitter cold Michigan winter).

 

The St. Agnes Mural, St. Agnes Church, Detroit, early 1980's

Pablo credits Juan Arias, his young protege' from Mexico for doing the original sketch from which he and the kids from Detroit Council of the Arts and CETA, executed this mural.  Juan was 18 years old and newly arrived from Mexico, modest and very talented.  Pablo designed the huge wall in 3/4 sections.  The first was the world torn in half and being pieced together by the world's youth.  The second was Juan's drawing that developed into a version of Dante's Inferno.

 

 

Pablo provided the cover art for this new book of poetry by the amazing poet, Mariela Griffor. See www.lunapublications.com for further book description and ordering information.