top of page

This is Where I'm At: And this is what I'm doing

Elonte Davis

Elonte Davis (Detroit, Mi) Born on Detroit’s East Side, Elonte Davis says he picked up a camera and never put it down. He carries the instrument like his keys – never leaving the house without it, capturing spontaneous, classified and often unseen stories in Black life throughout each day. Davis harnesses an intimacy in his photos that can only be discerned from the nucleus of the culture, allowing him to offer a genuine sense of the breadth of Black Detroit, as well as in other places he has visited and documented. Through his lens, the invisible are seen, heard, and celebrated; their tales in earnest, revealed.

Davis exhibited for the first time in 2021 and has since shown his work throughout the city, including at Riverside Detroit, Irwin House Gallery, ImageWorks in Dearborn, and the Detroit Historical Museum. Some of his recent assignments have included work for the Motown Museum and Rolling Out Magazine. Elonte Davis’ work is sought and collected for its raw honesty. He may be very well evolving into our current-day Gordon Parks.

Artist Statement

“This where I’m at, and this is what I’m doing.” The line is borrowed from a foreign film - an artless phrase uttered by a teen, in an attempt to explain that minors are products of circumstance. Who they are, and who they become, is almost entirely commensurate to where they are...and with whom.

Children don’t control their environments, or the steps they take within the confines of a day. They are asked and taught to make right choices between each step, to govern their impulses and emotions and – in between all that is required in an ordinary day – they still manage to manifest hope, playfulness and joy. From these experiences and spaces combined, our children are being cultivated and shaped. They are becoming the future.

Emerging as one of Detroit’s leading Black life photographers, Elonte Davis uses his camera to document these everyday flashes. Where they are and what they are doing determines what tomorrow looks like, not only for the young individuals, but for all of us. The power in Davis’ images should give us all pause to contemplate the significance and sanctity of each and every moment of our children’s lives.

An Irwin House Gallery, Steed Society Art & Rolling Out Magazine project
Presented in gratitude and partnership with The Carr Center

bottom of page