"I want [my art] to be familiar, disturbing and electrifying".
American artist, Justin Bower, explores the notion of identity in a post-human society through his large-scale oil on canvas paintings. In a culture where technology is displacing religious belief systems, Bower’s futuristic paintings interrogate the human condition. Playing with non-fixed facial features and the hallucinatory effects of Op Art, Bower’s pixelated portraits become an armature for the artist to investigate the effects of the ever-evolving world around us. Often citing Willem de Koonig and Leonardo da Vinci as his key influences, the style of Bower’s work can be seen as a contemporary fusion between the naturalism and proportion of Renaissance art, mixed with the painterly strokes of Abstract Expressionism.
Born in San Francisco in 1975, Justin Bower was interested in art from an extremely young age. Spending his childhood copying Old Master paintings, Bower always had an attraction to figurative art, especially depictions of the human body. Wishing to refine his artistic technique and his theoretical knowledge, Bower went on to complete his undergraduate degree in Art and Philosophy, at the University of Arizona. In the early 2000s, Bower moved to Los Angeles to pursue his artistic career, taking the opportunity to undergo further training. By 2011, Bower had received his Masters in Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University and since has both been nominated and won a plethora of grants and awards, including The Feitelson Fellowship Grant (2010) and The Joan Mitchell award (2010).
In addition to this, his work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in galleries across the United States, including a 2010 exhibition at Ace Gallery in Beverly Hills and a later exhibition at New York’s Unix Gallery in 2013. Bower has also come to host solo shows at Lancaster Museum of Art & History (2015), the Pomona Art Museum (2017), and the Riverside Art Museum (2019).
With an ever-increasing following, Bower’s paintings can also be found in a number of public art collections, such as The Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles and the Cosmopolitan Collection in Las Vegas. As popular in public as in private, Bower’s works have also been sought after by many notable collectors and prominent patrons within the art world, with both the president of Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, Eugenio Lopez, and Mexican business magnate, Carlos Slim, owning pieces of his works.
Bower first exhibited with Maddox Gallery in 2020 in a group exhibition in our Los Angeles gallery. The artist is to have a solo show with Maddox in June 2021, at our Los Angeles location in the fashionable West Hollywood design district. The show promises an in-depth discussion on technology, identity and what it means to be human.