Robert Bowen - Interview
You only have to view Robert Bowen's art work once to find yourself being confronted by an abrasive vibration of madness and insanity,screaming in your face and boiling profusely with a great sense of frustration, agitation and aggravation. One that is clawing on the inside and wrestling with Bowen's artistically split personality, trying to vent and break loose from it's shackles. Robert Bowen is an artistic enigma trapped inside his own mental cage. His artwork proceeds so m... (continued)
You only have to view Robert Bowen's art work once to find yourself being confronted by an abrasive vibration of madness and insanity,screaming in your face and boiling profusely with a great sense of frustration, agitation and aggravation. One that is clawing on the inside and wrestling with Bowen's artistically split personality, trying to vent and break loose from it's shackles. Robert Bowen is an artistic enigma trapped inside his own mental cage. His artwork proceeds so many questions. But those who are brave enough to seek their answers will only come to find misery and heartache. It has to be said that Robert Bowen has come to blows with many of the hardest trials and tribulations that life has to dish out, but although it may look as though Bowen is on the brink of self combustion, he has found a means to relieve that tension by opening the gates to his own personal hell. Robert's creations mimic that of substance controlled vision or a parallel universe filled with floating skulls and giant spiders legs lurking in the background, all brought together under a sky of double barreled shot gun type splatters and quotes such as - "Sometimes i wish you dead my friend, i wish you dead". The same kind of madness which lead Van Gogh to cut off his own ear could even be linked to Bowen, if you look closer. Though Robert Bowen's work is not a sign of his insanity, rather a sign of the times and how art really is one of the greatest forms of human expression. Robert took some time to talk to us here at The405. Check it out. When did you first realize that your creations could become a possible full time career for yourself? I used to work at an art gallery and was pretty critical of some of the stuff that was being shown and sold. i figured if they were doing it, i had a chance. besides that making art was something i had been doing since i was knee high to a fly's eye, i always wanted to be an artist. A lot of your illustrations tend to include your own interpretations and twists on a number of certain Disney Characters. Would you say that your drawing style is influenced a lot by Walt Disney's work? There definitely is an influence, I grew up going to disneyland a lot, I would look forward to it every summer. I think those times got lodged in my subconscious. As I got older I rediscovered that magical place, but with my own interpretation of it. I find most of your art work to be dark and grim with the incorporation of many skulls. Also those those mouths that resemble the critters from Aliens that burst out of the peoples chests scare the crap out of me. Is this a reflection on your own life? I've dealt with some pretty dark and grim experiences in my life, my brother overdosing from heroin, I had a best friend die in my my arms after being shot. I have seen and done some pretty dark things in my life and am constantly reminded of my mortality, but through it all I've kept a pretty good sense of humor, I think that also comes through in my work. The mouths came out of frustration, i guess they are the physical manifestation of what i feel like on the inside. Where or from whom do you draw your inspiration? Many places, from life, people around me, music or movies. Sometimes, especially with some of the portraits, the paintings almost paint themselves. Does music influence you creativeness at all? What have you been listening to a lot of on your Ipod/mp3 player recently? I definitley think it influences my mood when i work. Lately it's been a lot of old gangster rap (Ice Cube used to be awesome), Bright Eyes, IAMX, cocorosie Kind of a weird combo. Have you ever considered doing your own comic book or working as a comic book illustrator? I've always wanted to do the cover of a comic book, those were always my favorite part. What is your favorite medium to work with when creating a new piece, paint, pencil, spray paint etc? The actual painting of a piece is the most fun for me. Mixing and applying color to make something come to life is really fun. Would you say that each of your portrait pieces can tell or have a personal story attached to the character in them? Is this intentional? It is intentional, I hope to create a little story, or a tiny glimpse of a life in those pieces. With that said I hope each of them has done so. What is the key to never getting tired/bored of what you do? I love what i do. Coming up with new subject matter, discovering new techniques, and never stop evolving, i think those are key. Finally, where do you see yourself 5 years from now, in regards to your work, new projects and any other personal aspirations you have in life. Well if I'm still here, I hope you'll see my work everywhere. I'm currently scraping together images for my first book, by then i hope to be on my second or third. world domination is always an option. And hopefully i will be able to spell better. Be sure to check out more of Roberts work by visiting his Official MySpace here Credit to Shaun Roberts for the photo's of Robert.