The artist, whose name sounds almost like "David Bowie," is a praised American painter and illustrator. He's accomplished covers of over a hundred books and is honored with numerous awards. Among his works, there are covers of Time and other prominent magazines. His portrait of J. P. Morgan can be seen on the cover of Cigar Aficionado. The depiction of the Rothschild family graces the cover of Wine Spectator.
Realism with an Edge
As Bowers states, "My work has evolved through the years from fantasy art, surrealism, conceptual and narrative painting all blended together with a style reminiscent of the Old Masters, especially the Dutch painters. I often describe my work as "Realism with an Edge." I will continue my pursuit of trying to do the perfect painting…"
Fig. 1. The Observer (self portrait), 25 x 18 1/2, oil on masonite, 2011 (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 2. Cigar Aficionado cover by David Bowers (registrytampabay.com)
Fig. 3. Wine Spectator cover by David Bowers (registrytampabay.com)
Fig. 4. Alice in Wonderland, 24 x 18, oil on Dibond panel. PS Look at Grumpy Cat! (dmbowers.com)
Early Years and Career
David Michael Bowers was born in 1956 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from art school in Pittsburgh in 1979. Already two years later, he began teaching at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He lectured there for ten years and received an honor as the Keynote Speaker for the Class of 2003. Since 1991, Bowers started working with New York City publishers as an illustrator. In this field, Bowers received many awards like three Joseph Morgan Henniger Awards, "Best of Show" from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles along with two Patrick Nagel awards. He also received medals and Merit awards from the Society of Illustrators in New York, Spectrum's Best of Fantastic Art and Communications Arts Magazine.
Prosperous Illustration Career
In 2004, Bowers gave up his prosperous illustration career to devote himself to fine art. Now he works only with his own fantasy, not depending on a publisher's copy. His paintings are included in many private collections and exhibited in lots of European and American museums: Museum of American Illustration in New York and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Halcyon Gallery, London; Galerie 224, Laguna Beach, CA; and the James Gallery, Pittsburgh. The book, David Michael Bowers, The Evolution of an Artist, was published in 2007 by Robert J. Trombetta.
Fig. 5. Leda with her kids and the swan (blogspot.com)
Fig. 6. Flirt with Death (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
Fig. 7. Mother Nature (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
Fig. 8. Venus and the rabbits (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
Fig. 9. Unspoiled (ps we knew it was a mouse!), conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com
Fig. 10. Safe Sex (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
Fig. 11. Heart Throb (streetanatomy.com)
Fig. 12. Girls N’ Roses, 16 x 20, oil on Belgian linen (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 13. Venus Against the Wind, 20 x 18, oil on linen (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 14. The Laugh, 22 1/2 x 16 1/2 oil on wood (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 15. Listen, 24 x 18, oil on panel (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 16. The Shell Man, it’s a dangerous world, 20 x 16, oil on panel (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 17. Thinking of Adam, 8 x 10, oil on linen mounted to panel (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 18. Blondes Have More Fun 38 x 34 oil on linen 2011 (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 19. Finding the Gold II, 32 x 24, oil on Belgian linen (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 20. Bust My Bubble (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
What Motivates Me the Most
Bowers considers the idea as the most challenging part of the painting, so there's always a symbolic message in his works. According to the artist, "I'm so indebted to the paintings of the great Old Masters of the past. The inspiration that I receive from viewing their work, makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I have to admit that very few modern artists give me that kind of sensation. It has been out of vogue for quite some time in the art world for a painting to be beautifully drawn, composed, and painted. So, I guess that makes me a rebel and every other artist out there working hard trying to achieve the beauty and grace of the Old Masters. I will spend the rest of my life in pursuit of those lofty ideals set forth by the great ones of the past. Making my paintings and striving for perfection in them, is what motivates me the most. My next painting will always be my best. At least that is what I hope to achieve." (tfaoi.org).
Fig. 21. pinterest.com
Fig. 22. The Amazing Race (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
Fig. 23. The Unresponsive Audience (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
Fig. 24. After the Bath, 36 x 36, oil on linen (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 25. The Girl in the Blue Kimono I (blogspot.com)
Hooves and Heels
Devoting himself to art, Bowers creates his works carefully and slowly, day by day. In his pictures, you can see reinterpretations of different masters such as Botticelli (fig. 13), Edvard Munch (fig. 14), Felix Labisse (fig. 15), and Giuseppe Arcimboldo with his famous Four Seasons (fig. 16). Bower's attention is drawn to classic plots like Leda and the swan. The artist blends different times depicting the high towers of a modern city in the background. One of the recurring motifs is a woman with a pig originating from Pornocrates (1878) by Felicien Rops. Interestingly, Rops didn't put an accent on the trotters of the pig as well as on the heels of the woman. David Bowers depicts heels and trotters in such a manner that they look quite similar (fig. 31).
Fig. 26. Felicien Rops Pornocrates (1878), Wikipedia.org
Fig. 27. blogspot.com
Fig. 28. Charge (imaginaryrealism.com)
Fig. 29. Heading To Town, 20 x 16, oil on masonite (dmbowers.com)
Fig. 30. Pig Walker II (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
Fig. 31. Pig Walker III (conchigliadivenere.wordpress.com)
Sources: official site dmbowers.com; David Michael Bowers: Humanity Unveiled (tfaoi.org); The amazing paintings of David Michael Bowers: “Realism with an Edge” (registrytampabay.com)
Click HERE for an article on the outlandish voluptuousness of the digital pop surrealist Ray Caesar....!!
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