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Marcus Bowcott: Recent Work

Marcus Bowcott lives and works in Vancouver Canada as a painter and a sculptor. His recent large and medium scale works are thematically concerned with consumption, mass transportation and it's related impact on economics, ecology and the way we live together as a society. But their formality is 'classical' and borrows strongly from photographic tradition.


bowcott painting
Marcus Bowcott, Anonymous, Oil on Canvas", 2013, 36x72"

Speaking on his sculptural pieces, this excerpt from Bowcott gives us a deeper look into the works depicted here:

The border is open for tourists and consumers driving through in their SUV’s, mid-sized autos and compacts. If you were an alien from another planet you might think it is the automobiles that dominate this earthly urban environment. Cities are designed and built around cars: suburbs, highways, shopping malls and vast parking lots. We fuel our habits of consumption with millennial layers of fossil and organic matter buried deep in the earth (millions years of photosynthetic energy consumed in the last two hundred years). “Burnin’ diesel burnin’ dinosaur bones”(1).

We love our private mobile bubbles. Advertisers spend vast quantities of money convincing us to identify with one vehicle over another. They are presented as “dependability for your family”, “power and prowess”, “luxury and prestige” … on and on, in symbolic personal terms of reference. A family car is a major purchase, often accompanied with a significant loan from a bank. Fifteen years later your contraption is a disposable pile of plastic and metal worth, maybe, a hundred bucks from a wrecker with a tow truck. Time to buy another one. This next one may be commonplace and functional or, if you’ve had luck, “made a killing” or worked and saved hard over the years, will be something that reflects your higher station in life: loaded with style and grace. The presence of automobiles in our lives and culture goes so deep, and is so pervasive, that we have difficulty seeing ourselves - and our surroundings - in relation them. Millions of these vehicles have transported us over commercial borders to this crossroads.

Automobiles idle at the border. Customs officers check passports and search the Internet for personal profiles. Some travelers are stopped and searched while others pass through. Meanwhile, the big and heavy 18-wheelers roll steadily past carrying their NAFTA certified goods. An artist with a sculpture is stopped and searched. He asks the customs officer why. “Art is a gray area,” says the border guard, “You sell your product? You’ll need a bond”. Later, an art dealer in Portland, Oregon tells the artist he would like to show the sculpture in his gallery “ ... if you lived in the States ... but dealing with those Canadian customs officials is just too time consuming. They’re unpredictable and frustrating.” It appears to the artist that the border is “thicker” for “cultural products” than it is for mass produced consumer items made in China.

25 Stoppages takes the automobile out of its “natural” context of horizontal mobility. Stacked vertically, the cars appear to be funny and sad at the same time, with some of them still reflecting their old “personality”. Together, they coalesce into an abstract spiral, pointing towards our heavens.

Marcus Bowcott / Vancouver (north of the border) / 2013

vessel ship triptychMarcus Bowcott, Triptych, Oil on Canvas, 2013, 24x72"
bowcott paintingMarcus Bowcott, Diptych, Oil on Canvas, 2013, 24x72"
bowcott paintingMarcus Bowcott, Through the Glass, Oil on Canvas, 36x36 bowcott paintingMarcus Bowcott, Axe, Etching , 2013, 9x12
bowcott painting
Marcus Bowcott, Booming Ground Reflection, Oil on Canvas, 2013, 36x36







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