Humboldt State University First Street Gallery is pleased to present REVOLUTIONARY REALISM, Drawings by Chuck Bowden, on exhibit from October 2nd through November 9th 2010. This will be the California North Coast artist's largest exhibition to date, which will include drawings from 1964 to the present day. The visual quality of his work often leads one to the conclusion that it was constructed digitally or through use of multi-media, however, they are meticulously drawn by hand. Much of Bowden's work contains strong political content, the inspiration for which began at a young age when he was affected by the Panama riots of 1964, and by the Kennedy assassination.
Within the works of Chuck Bowden, exists a unique passion for exercising his technical virtuosity, using simple implements, paired with a platform of expressive free speech. In a category of his own, Bowden mixes his rich compositions, which incorporate black and white hyper-realistic pencil drawings, with ballpoint pens and brightly colored markers. The artist uses historic photographs as subjects within his drawings; however his goal is to "surpass the photograph" by employing a wider tonal range than one would find in the original source material. Bowden's exhibition delivers depictions of his fine artistic talent and boldly confronts sensitive and controversial present day issues. Greatly influenced by his upbringing in a military family, Bowden’s politically charged expressions evoke strong reactions by his audience.
Bowden’s prior success as a commercial artist is outweighed by his overwhelming interest in expanding his own fine art. Bowden occupies a personal stylistic category and pushes the conventional boundaries of fine art. Within his method of juxtaposing words, abstractions, popping colors with super-realistic graphite drawings, he creates a new intense, lusciously heightened pictorial form. This process of rendering strengthens the severity of topics expressed. For example, the piece Manbomb, created in 2005, depicts the contrast between a graphite image of a 19th century woman and vividly colored phallic-shaped bombs. If observed closely, each bomb bears the name and face of political figures and their affiliations. At the bottom of the image surrounding the woman, a manifesto is included stating Bowden's message, which is a feminist critique of warmongering political systems. Many other pieces include messages of anti-war, anti-colonialism and other politically charged topics.
The artists Bowden has been most influenced by are Hieronymus Bosch, Brueghel, and Dürer. He is also working in the vein of activist artists such as Sue Coe, George Grosz, and Käthe Kollwitz. As with other activist artists, Bowden's art is more motivated by his ideals than monetary compensation. When he was asked his incentive was for creating works, he answered, "Someday I might influence the world…on occasion."
There will be a public reception for Chuck Bowden on Saturday, October 2nd, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., during Eureka Main Street’s Arts Alive program. HSU First Street Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. The gallery is located at 422 First Street in Eureka and admission is free to all. School groups are encouraged to call ahead to arrange tours. For more information call 707-443-6363.
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From at least 1965 when I was 7 years old I knew I was amongst a society of grownups seriously depraved of brains awake enough to recognize the realities of life here on earth... Everywhere this was self evident, grownups had devolved to become derelict of their born inherent potential for greatness, not only this, but grownups had come to love and embrace the most unnatural, inhuman and hideous traits plausibly capable by any human being, which is to say, Americans had accepted the inevitability of mass murder as if it was as natural and inevitable as tomorrow’s sunrise..... From those early days I realized the majority of grownups were seriously delusional and willfully negligent of the sentient integrity, logic, decency, compassion and humanity we, each and every one of us, are born with... Why or how grownups were led so far astray as to worship the most despicable traits of humankind was not my original interest... From the beginning of these early observations, I decided I would take a stance against their idiotic theories, their ill-conceived inclinations to embrace the worst traits a human being can exhibit... I would not do this with words, but with evidentiary proof, in the form of art, which would awaken every mind, which beheld these creations to a realization of the nonsensical irrationality of their former beliefs... A realization that the human spirit is capable of a beauty and magnificence far beyond the theoretically flawed and uninspired model of the human condition dogmatically implied by this confused society... With my hands I would create a timeless beauty beyond words in their simplest of mediums, pencil and ball point pen on paper, exceeding what anyone imagined was possible... For as far as I was concerned, the dead end dreams of grownups needed an awakening one way or another and I for one would not go through this life without at least trying my best to bring to fruition a form of enlightenment all could gain from and share for the betterment of each of our tomorrows... For art, especially in combination with intellectual dissidence, has no limitations, and no naysayers and no chains and no guardians of where what and how one creates anything, art is the rare avenue not dictated by others expectations, idiocies, laws, rules, regulations and mandates... Where potential is only limited by the mind from which it springs and so, with my pencil in hand a timeless magnificence would be revealed as a symbolic inference of the overall potential existent in all of mankind, and in essence, vanquishing the grownup theories of the evils of the human soul, exposing the naysayers, the defeatists, the doom-dayers, the war apologists, the delusional, and in general all grownup negativity which seeks to bring down the spirit of we who love this earth and life itself... The fact that it was me alone versus the world of grownup idiots was of little consequence for I was un-deterable and knew with the strength of my convictions, that each and everyone of us is a miracle in disguise, born with an existent love aspiring to achieve a harmonious co-existence amongst all races here on earth, and the fact that the majority of American grownups had devolved to embrace compartmentalized irrationalities promoting paranoia of enemies around every corner, was of course more of a byproduct of a handful of mentally and emotionally bankrupt unenlightened men cowards in power and therefore did not deflect one iota from the fact of our born inherent compassion and care for our fellow human beings which resonates alive at this moment in the hearts of us all.... Oh, sure, early on my thoughts were a little more minimalistic and simplistic, but the energy and spark and spirit was there just as well and since those early observations of society, little has been noted which has led me to believe that the mental dark ages isn’t still shrouding this land... The success of the current crop of Mansonites (Charles Manson) in Washington D.C. (Obama & gang) is in no way different than when swingin’-King-George-Junior-Of-The Jungle-Bush was in there bombing New York City, Iraq and Afghanistan, or when read-my-lips-daddy-Bush was in there bombing Panama and Iraq, or when Clinton was in there burning men women and children alive in Waco, TX and bombing Oklahoma City, or when Reagan was in there selling arms to terrorists and murdering peasants in mass in Central America, or when Carter was in there turning the other cheek while U.S. weapons were being used to slaughter millions in East Timor or when Nixon was in there bombing the hell out of South East Asia and sending tens of thousands of young American men to an early grave or when L.B. Johnson was in there having just helped orchestrate the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy and starting the illegal war upon Vietnam... You see, tyranny depends on mass gullibility whereby spun-doctored propaganda is spoon-fed to the masses and the majority well, hell, they go right along with the song and dance routine never asking one god damn question... And as easy as any 5th grader could identify the idiotic flaws and Three Stooges screw-ups of the two biggest stories of the past 50 years - the J.F.K. assassination and the 9-11-2001, the majority of Americans just as easily choose to remain gullible and sleep walk through the official explanations swallowing the lies hook, line, and sinker... You see, independent spirit, integrity, fortitude, and curiosity appears dead in the majority of Americans and the tyrants, they’re jumping for joy planning the next series of atrocities (operation 9-11-2001 was originally called Operation North Woods written 50 years ago)... And the avenue of freedom, where creative endeavors take place on screen, on stage, in museums, in galleries, in books and other forums, where a stance can be taken and freely expressed exposing the Mansonites and sadists and paranoids in power in Washington D.C., instead have been infested by cowards more concerned with enriching their own short term asses of today than ever enriching the long term interests and lives of we the people of the U.S.A. for generations to come... You see, I for one have no patience for their criminal, extremist fringe lunatic behavior, nor their theories and cover-ups, nor for the Igorian sycophants who themselves enable the furtherance of war’s insanity, and this is why that, along with a technical virtuosity inherent in my work, I incorporate an in-you-face lambasting of these sadists in three piece suits along with the sheeple who enable their continuance.... Who are going to help awaken the sleeping decency and goodness of the American public if not artists who are as free of roadblocks as anyone can ever hope to be in traveling through this life? Are artists to be marrionetted puppets controlled by the all mighty dollar, blind to the kind heart, which lives within as the majority of Americans have chosen to be? No, I don’t think so... By the way, the greatest enemy of tyranny shall always be we who are armed with the truth and the truth is that it is a scientifically established fact (GOOGLE Harrit WTC Thermite) that 9-11-2001 was an inside job... Just imagine, all those flag wavin’ Bush-huggers who delusionally believed themselves to be so damn patriotic when in fact and reality, they were hugging the real terrorists themselves... Yep, the truth can be a bitch when your brain is living in the dark ages... Or maybe I should say that truth can be revolutionary especially when war mongers, banksters and spin doctors try and chain brains to their dead end war machine and you the majority have the audacity to bravely and freely take a stance against their criminal agendas... Truth and realism go hand in hand just as lies and delusionalism go hand in hand on the other side... And yes, I am the same artist who was censored in 2003 here in Eureka by the Redwood Art Association in conjunction with the Humboldt Arts Council (Google “Tactics of Tyrants are Always Transparent” censored) (or ask to see the story here at this gallery)... My old website is about to be put back up online... Chuckbowden.com... Email me if you have any questions or comments or suggestions... Thanks, Chuck Bowden... P.S. And speaking of “How Grownups Where Lead Astray”... In recent years, since 1998, I have written the definitive anti-war song book which is based upon 33 CDs (I compiled) which cover just about every anit-war song (at least the majority) in existence, whereby I identify how the American people have been hoodwinked, brainwashed, and led so far astray... This book is nearly complete and an early handwritten version can be seen here at the gallery...
Chuck Bowden 9-21-2010