Justin Bower’s abstracted, fractured faces maintain a sense of intimacy. In his latest oil on canvas works, Bower’s evolved this approach with new, startling “glitches.” He’s current part of the group show “Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art” at Bruno David Gallery in Missouri, and he was last featured on HiFructose.com here.
The explosive abstract portraiture of Los Angeles based artist Justin Bower is currently featured in a new exhibition at MOAH (Lancaster Museum of Art and History), “Thresholds”. Previously featured here on our blog and in Hi-Fructose Vol. 31, his digital-looking, hand-painted portraits constantly question how much we will allow technology to permeate and destruct our daily lives? Like a glitchy mirror image of ourselves, glued to our computers and mobile devices, the giant, anonymous faces that he paints are continuously broken up by neon colored markings and shapes. His “Thresholds” series is an extension of a series of portraits that first began with his piece titled “Spaceboy” in 2009, here ending with several new paintings created throughout 2015.
Los Angeles based artist Justin Bower’s larger than life oil paintings feature anonymous subjects that appear digitized, but are painstakingly hand-painted. Through their expressive, glitchy faces, first covered in Hi-Fructose Vol 31, Bower examines our close relationship with technology. In our 2014 interview with the artist, he said, “My work is foremost about the destabilization of the contemporary subject in an increasing control society, and often I use the digital realm as the environment to place them in. It’s almost an ontological build up from scratch, building a new idea of who we are.” On September 10th, Bower will debut a long-awaited new series at UNIX Gallery in New York with his exhibit “The Humiliations”.
While Justin Bower’s artworks may look computerized with their neon colors and digital glow, they are large-scale paintings (often spanning 11 feet) that are created entirely by hand through an analog process. The juxtaposition of a digital aesthetic with traditional techniques is not accidental: Bower uses his holographic portraiture to investigate the contemporary relationship between humanity and technology. With mobile devices semi-permamnently affixed to our hands, constantly in a dialogue of information with the world, how much of our autonomy and freedom will we give up as technology continues to permeate our daily existence? This is a question that perturbs Bower — one that drives him to obsessively, painstakingly render these giant faces interrupted by fluorescent sparks and eery reflections. I spoke with the artist about his views and his artistic process. Read the exclusive interview after the jump.
Our new issue of Hi-Fructose New Contemporary Art Magazine arrives in April and features a beautiful cover and feature by Fuco Ueda, the art of Ray Caesar, interactive graphic work by Brosmind, the sculptures of Erika Sanada, Tristram Lansdowne’s otherworldly architectural paintings, Laura Ball’s constructed animal paintings, painter, Justin Bower’s glitch paintings, Jordan Kasey, surreal photography and origami works by Alma Haser, Brandi Milne’s new book, an interview with Long Gone John about this new B-Kawz release, and a very special 16 page insert by Al Columbia, featuring beautiful reproductions of his works on paper, and more! Pre-order a copy today. Take a look inside the issue after the jump!
Since its debut 15 years ago, Art Basel Miami Beach has spawned and spread across Miami and Miami Beach, with dozens of new fairs and events in tow. This year, we’re visiting some of these efforts. It can be a bit daunting (and a bit cringey) to navigate at times, but in these diaries, we’re going to take a look at some of the work that, for better or worse, made us pause during walks down those long hallways.