Studio Sundays: Christa David
Christa David is mixed media artist, writer and researcher. Fusing the mediums of painting, collage and assemblage, her work examines themes of faith, power, politics and identity. In September 2016, after years of “making art in the cracks” (nights and weekends) along side her demanding work as senior public health researcher at the New York City Department of Health’s Center for Health Equity, Christa David leaped into making art full-time. Christa David is proud two time Columbia University Lion, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies with a Pre-medical concentration and a Masters of Public Health degree in the history of medicine, public health and ethics. Her work is held in personal collections throughout the United States and has been most recently exhibited in a group show titled - Juan Rulfo Turns One Hundred / Juan Rulfo Cumple Cien Curated by Virginia Gris, Blanka Amezkua for the Alexandar Avenue Apt 3A Gallery (AAA3A) in Bronx, New York, and the Hidden Like Gold solo show for the AAA3A gallery in Bronx, New York.
For the past decade, I have worked as a public health researcher analyzing health data in search of patterns of death and disease and then attempting to put these findings into context, piecing together a story of the lives of individuals and communities, how they live and how they die. In my artwork, context, specifically “story”, is essential. I care deeply about the history of our present day dilemmas of racial, economic and social inequity. What are the roots? What is the cause? Where are the injuries? Who are the injured? Who are the injurers? And most importantly is there a cure? I use the mediums of painting and collage undergirded by rigorous historical and epidemiological research to help me interrogate these questions. In my current work, I am tackling gentrification, specifically from my personal vantage - a women of color and Harlem native, displaced.
Gentrification fascinates and frightens me. I’m fascinated by the subtly of it all - a new market here, some new trees there, a new luxury condo springing up overnight, lots of new faces. And frightened by the deliberateness of it all - a public-private apparatus building a whole new neighborhood around you, without you and not entirely for you.