Eric Bowman is an American artist with 30 years of experience. His professional career started as an Illustrator before transitioning into fine art as an early participant in the California Plein Air revival. Most recently, Bowman has melded the two along with his stylized voice into the American Southwest genre, and will be presenting his second solo show with Maxwell Alexander Gallery June 2nd. Bowman’s solo exhibition “Storybook Cowboy” pulls from romanticized visions of the west. The artist infuses illustrative realism to connect the viewer to the present day in a contemporary handling of narrative and light. The exhibition marks a notable maturation of skill and voice for Bowman. “This show is an exclamation point in Bowman’s career that collector's will be sure to notice,” gallery owner Beau Alexander notes.
Quiet moments of the timeless cowboy spirit are what the artist uses for his most recent inspiration. The overarching theme between his paintings pulls in and out of narrative, allowing for enough open-endedness to encourage the viewer to participate. Often showing solitary riders ready to begin or end their day, the figures act as stand-ins for both the viewer and the heroic ideal.
Pieces such as “Surveyors” or “Echo Canyon” reflect on iconic poses and a stoic contemplation, while “Green Mountain” showcases Bowman’s love of landscape. Bowman creates from his own references of working cowboys, though he’ll be the first to admit the influence of Taos and early California painters on his voice. Where he differs, however, is the contemporary handling. The cowboys, like Bowman, are looking towards the future while reflecting on the past.