Saturday, May 19, 2012

PSoA Certificate of Excellence: David Bowers

David Bowers
The Observer (self-portrait)
29 x 18½ in.
oil on hardboard panel

David Michael Bow­ers was born in Cham­bers­burg, Pennsylvania in 1956, and grad­u­ated from art school in Pitts­burgh in 1979. Soon after, he began work­ing as a staff artist at var­i­ous stu­dios in Pitts­burgh, and within two years, began teach­ing at the Art Insti­tute of Pitts­burgh, where he lec­tured for the next ten years.

In 1991, David began his illus­tra­tion career, work­ing mostly with pub­lish­ers in New York City, and over the course of the next ten years, com­pleted over one hun­dred book cov­ers. His illustrations also graced the covers of many, promi­nent mag­a­zines, includ­ing TIME.  The awards he received were numerous, includ­ing three Joseph Mor­gan Hen­niger Awards,  a “Best of Show” from the Soci­ety of Illus­tra­tors of Los Ange­les, and two Patrick Nagel awards. These awards recognized Bowers as having the best, pub­lished illus­tra­tion of the year. Additionally, Bowers has received medals and Merit awards from the Soci­ety of Illus­tra­tors in New York, Spectrum:  The Annual of the Best of Fan­tas­tic Art, and from Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Arts Mag­a­zine.

In the mid 1990s Bow­ers began to focus more on fine art, split­ting his time between his illus­tra­tion assign­ments, and per­sonal paint­ings.  He had his first solo exhi­bi­tion at the James Gallery in Pitts­burgh in 1995.   Since then, Bow­ers has had exhi­bi­tions across Amer­ica and Europe, includ­ing the Menden­hall Gallery in Pasadena, CA; Gal­lerie 224 in Laguna Beach; Klau­dia Marr Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mex­ico; Gallery Brusen in Den­mark; Hal­cyon Gallery in Lon­don, Eng­land; Mar­cel Salome Gallery in The Nether­lands; The But­ler Insti­tute of Amer­i­can Art; and The West­more­land Museum of Amer­i­can Art.  His fine art awards include: Best of Show from The Inter­na­tional Guild of Real­ism in 2011; The Best Tromp L’oeil award in 2010; the Pio­neer in Real­ism award in 2009; and a first place award for the paint­ing titled, “Made in Amer­ica” in the Portrait Society of Americas Members Only competition.  Bow­ers was also a semi­fi­nal­ist in the 2009 Out­win Boochever Por­trait Com­pe­ti­tion at National Por­trait Gallery, Smith­son­ian Institution.

His realistic paintings have been described as a blend of Renaissance master and figural surrealist, with a touch of fantasy art mixed in. Upon first glance, Bowers' work seems to take you back to periods of painting long gone. However, Bowers' paintings incorporate modern themes and ideas. There is always a message in his work. For him the idea is the most challenging and rewarding part of the painting.

Bowers lives with his wife Kimberlie in the Pittsburgh area, where he paints very slowly and methodically, day in, and day out.

"My paintings reflect my observations of humanity and the never-ending trials and tribulations we subject ourselves to. They are a tribute to the artist who went before me. In each age, these men and women have acted as observers and chroniclers of the human condition. As their work inspired me, I can only hope that my paintings will act as a guidepost to those who follow."

More of Bowers' work can be seen at his website,

Sources:  D.M. Bowers' website, Beinart International Surreal Art Collective, and the Art Renewal Center:  Living Master biographies.

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