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Phil Bower

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Nude (Man Kneeling On Towel), 2014 Oil on Canvas 60"x48" © philbower.net
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Nude (Woman At Shore), 2014 Oil on Canvas 60"x48" © philbower.net
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Nudes (Couple In Forest), 2013 Oil on Canvas 48"x60" © Phil Bower
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Nude (Woman With Earring), 2013 Oil on Canvas 24"x24" © Phil Bower
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Nudes (Couple Standing In Field), 2013 Oil on Canvas 24"x30" © philbower.net
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Nude (Man In Profile), 2014 Oil on Canvas 10"x10" © philbower.net
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Nude (Muscular Man), 2013 Oil on Canvas 24"x24" © philbower.net
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Nudes (Couple On Striped Towel), 2013 Oil on Canvas 24"x30" © philbower.net
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Nude (Man At Water's Edge), 2014 Oil on Canvas 12"x12" © philbower.net
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Nude (Woman Looking At Sea), 2014 Oil on Canvas 12"x12" © philbower.net
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Nude (Man On Rock Beach), 2014 Oil on Canvas 12"x12" © philbower.net
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Nude (Woman In Tall Field), 2013 Oil on Canvas 40"x30" © philbower.net
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The Red Inflatable, 2007 Oil on Canvas 48 X 48 Inches © image courtesy of Carl Berg Gallery
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The Forest, 2007 Oil on Canvas 48 X 60 Inches © image courtesy of Carl Berg Gallery
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The Lagoon, 2007 Oil on Canvas 48 X 60 Inches © image courtesy of Carl Berg Gallery
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The Forest 2, 2007 Oil on Canvas 48 X 60 Inches © image courtesy of Carl Berg Gallery
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Blue and White Striped Towel, 2007 Oil on Canvas 48 X 60 Inches © image courtesy of Carl Berg Gallery
Quick Facts
Lives in
Los Angeles
Works in
Los Angeles
Schools
USC, MFA
UCSC, BFA
Representing galleries
Samuel Freeman Gallery
Statement

NUDES

Phil Bower’s paintings depict real people in real landscapes, not staged presentations.  In truth these nudists are captured in a rare moment for a human being…engaged in a utopian lifestyle, au naturel in a Garden of Eden, without any judgement or hang-ups. They are unaware of the opportunists lurking behind bushes and on cliff tops, or lazing beside them with cameras secreted away under a towel or blanket. It is through this voyeurism and perversion that Bower receives his source material, but by painting his subjects without irony, in full embrace of the contexts and glories of nude figures in art history, the artists subverts the exploitation of the nudists and returns the subject matter to a higher plane… hopefully equal in spirit to the figures depicted.

Images are culled from websites that broadcast voyeur videos of European and Russian nudists caught lounging and frolicking on expansive beaches, or sneaking into nearby forests for intimate encounters. The artist produces a digital photograph from a screen grab of a purchased video to serve as a “model” for the paintings. The source videos are often poor in quality, shot in a guerrilla style from vantages behind foliage or from odd angles. Often the artist chooses to crop and zoom into the video frame, which further degrades the photographic information available. This is to Bower’s advantage as he exploits the nebulous, low-resolution blurs and pixilation; translating the information into highly realized oil paintings that carve out territory in contemporary painting by uniquely blending photorealistic techniques with an intuitive and exploratory palette that is rife with startling glazes and metallic colors.

BORN
 
Oakland, CA
 
Lives and works in Los Angeles
 

EDUCATION
 
M.F.A. University of Southern California, Los Angeles
B.F.A. University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
 
SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014 - Nudes, Samuel Freeman Gallery, Culver City, CA
 
2010 - After Women, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
 
2008 - New Paintings, Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston, MA
 
2007 - Figures In Landscapes, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
 
2006 - New Paintings, Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston, MA
 
2005 - New Paintings, Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston, MA
 
2003 - Phil Was Here, Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston, MA
 
2002 - A Brief Mystery of Time, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
 
2001 - Handsome and Bulletproof, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
 
2000 - The End of the Day, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
 
1997 - New Blue Chip Paintings, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York, NY
 
1996 - Exquisite Taxidermy, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York, NY
 
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
 
2009 - Garage Sale, Serieuze Zaken Sudioos, Amsterdam
 
2009 - Manifestation, Carl Berg Projects, Los Angeles
 
2008 - A Blvd. Called Wilshire, Serieuze Zaken Studioos, Amsterdam
 
2006 - American Painting, Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston, MA

2006 - many, many guys and girls, all real beauties, Circus of Books Gallery, Hollywood, CA, curated by Julian Hoeber
 
2000 - Works on Paper, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Liz Balough
 
1999 - Abject Edge, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA curated by Mat Gleason
 
1998 - L.A. Cool, Rocket Gallery, London, England, curated by David Pagel
 
1994 - The Group, Spanish Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
 
1993 - DADA, Los Angeles, CA
          DADA Best of Show, Los Angeles, CA curated by Jon Peterson
 
1990 - L.A.C.E. Annual, Los Angeles, CA

Exhibited with these artists
Phil Bower has Exhibited with these artists:

Exhibited at these venues