Jose Antonio Davila
Born January 13, 1935 in New York. At the age of six he arrives in Venezuela. Inspired by Manuel Cabré’s work, he teaches himself painting and starts his own career. In 1949 he enters the School of Pictorial and Applied Arts of Caracas. Early in 1950 he takes part of the second dissident movement of the aforementioned art school. On May 6 of the same year he participates in the exhibition of former students of the school at the Caracas Athenaeum. He attends drawing and painting workshops as well as the lectures issued at the Free Art Workshop. With 16 years of age, in 1951, he presents his first painting exhibition at the Soviet-Venezuelan Center, and participates in the 12th Annual Official Venezuelan Art Salon at the Museum of Fine Arts in Caracas. He works at Gabriel Bracho’s and Luis Lusick’s ateliers. In 1955 he travels to Europe, visiting Vienna, Prague and Warsaw, and residing in Paris, where he works at Jacobo Borges’ atelier for a year. In 1957 he travels across Italy, Spain, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Russia. He visits Rome, Venice, Florence, Paris, Moscow, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna and Prague.
In 1959 he travels to Mexico, visiting museums, ateliers and artists, Siqueiros among them. He moves to Cuba and later to the island of Margarita, state of Nueva Esparta. There he becomes founding member and later professor of the School of Arts of La Asunción. In 1966 he becomes habitué of groups such as the “Golden Fish Circle” and “The Whale’s Ceiling.” In 1967 he participates with other artists in the Cultural Exchange Program of the United States, traveling and visiting museums, galleries, art schools and ateliers in cities such as Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. The following year he resigns his position as Director of the Experimental Art Center of the Universidad de Los Andes and returns to his atelier in Caucagua, state of Miranda, to dedicate himself exclusively to painting. During the early 1970s he takes part in the “Presencia 70” group. Since 1952 his work has been shown in a number of salons and exhibitions, individual as well as collective, in Italy, France, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Iran, Korea, United States, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, and a vast series of art fairs in and out of his country. He has been granted several distinctions and honors, including an Accésit to the National Prize for Painting in 1961. His work has also appeared in Latin American art auctions by Christie’s and Sotheby’s in New York. He has an important presence in outstanding private collections and museums.