R. D. Daves III was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his B.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia and his M.F.A. from Georgia State University. Now in his mid-thirties, Daves paints and teaches visual arts as an adjunct professor at both Georgia State and the Atlanta College of Art.
Daves is the third in a line of artists in his family-his grandfather was a landscape painter and his father is a photographer. These dual influences helped to shape him artistically. Childhood memory, Southern architecture and the feeling of familial attachment inform much of his present-day work.
Sorting through the layers of meaning in Daves' art leaves you feeling like an archaeologist. On the surface, the vivid colors and lively representations engage the most casual viewers, even those left cold by more abstract contemporary art. Those with a background in art history will recognize motifs from many artistic traditions, from ancient religions of the Congo to today's graffiti art. Daves intersperses symbols from his private life with images that tap into collective memories of childhood to explore universal themes of nostalgia, homage and balance.
Daves's work has been exhibited in a number of galleries and nonprofit venues, including several solo and group shows at the Modern Primitive Gallery in Atlanta.