"Untitled" by Terri Bowden
Digital print | 2019 | 11" x 15.25"
Born 1962 in California
Creative Growth Art Center, 1993–presentTerri Bowden’s early work consisted primarily of albino animals and people–an interest she developed while attending programs with other legally blind people. Her limited vision has a direct influence on her interpretation of reality, resulting in a vibrant application of color that adds both dimension and complexity to her work. Her figures were rendered in sketchy black lines with starkly blank backgrounds or burst with colorful makeup and pastel wigs. At times, Bowden chose to include stiff and oversized hands and feet that could be webbed. Whether it was reimagining Robert Plant, Michael Jackson, or a generalized winking punk rocker, Terri’s ability to capture the nuances of human expression extended far beyond the photos she used for reference. Bowden’s recent practice has shifted almost exclusively to digital work, using an iPad to alter photographs and create AR architecture. There is a through line from her earlier work to the more recent digital ‘makeovers’ of historical figures, celebrities, and rock stars that demonstrates a very sophisticated artist’s evolution. Bowden often carries ‘friends’ with her (life sized mat board cutouts) to Creative Growth on BART from her house, to which she attaches her digital portraits. These friends are also given makeovers complete with glam punk hair and makeup, and have oversized hands and feet attached. Bowden consistently enforces a sublime aesthetic that transcends conventionality, one that she often describes as ‘dented.’ Bowden’s work is included in the permanent collection at the MADmusée in Liege, Belgium.