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Justin Bower

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San Francisco

Birth year

Works in
Los Angeles

Everett Community College, 2010, mfa

Representing galleries
ACE Los Angeles

abstract, post-humanism, subjectivity, sublime pop, figurative, conceptual, realism, surrealism, digital


I paint the face as an uncanny representation and site of turbulent subjectivity. I use the face as a performative space, or armature, to interrogate the ‘humanist subject’ from a posthuman vantage point.

In this series of paintings I use an anonymous image culled from the internet, re-interpreting the image in every painting. The multiplicity and endless variation of this image confuses an authentic origin, reaffirming the tension between the digital image and a real world counterpoint.

I postulate and show that literally and figuratively, body boundaries are leaking and putting into question the stability of subjectivity. Biotechnologies, with its regenerative qualities and coding of the human, are suggested in my paintings as the endless generative quality of one image without an original. My subjects are contradictory and unstable, in an un-fixed position (optically and conceptually), courting a felt tension between rupture and rigidity in the construction of the painting. I use the doubling of certain features on the face (such as three eyes, spliced noses, melting mouths) to optically play with this instability, and I conceptually destabilize the subject by creating an open system that doesn’t complete the subject, addresses androgyny and the state of becoming/unbecoming.

I complicate the function of skin/flesh as a boundary between biological interiority and externalized technologies through the sense of ‘space’ or openings in the flesh. My posthuman ‘subjects’ play with the boundaries separating the organic/machinic, human/non-human, interiority/exteriority, and self/other binaries.

My paintings depict the subject not as identification but of transformation, metamorphosis and catastrophe. They are not representative, they are performative, a boundary site and surface---neither entirely natural nor cultural but a configuration that negotiates the limits of corporeal existence within an increasingly technological environment.

Recent Exhibits

Justin Bower participated in these exhibits:

Dec, 2015 VANITY
Lancaster Museum of Art and History
Sep, 2015 The Humiliations
Unix Gallery
Apr, 2015 Altered States
Patrick Painter Inc.
Jan, 2014 The Status of Portraiture
Oct, 2013 Panic Room
Unix Gallery
Aug, 2013 True Believers
Torrance Art Museum
Click here to see all exhibits for Justin Bower

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