Featured Artist : Josh Bowe

20 Questions to Josh Bowe.


1: Who are you?
1- My name is Josh Bowe.

2: What is your background?
2-My background art wise is……… well i guess i have always wanted to do something as a painter all my life, from my earliest memories. I’ve study at a few schools and colleges. The most prestigious of which would have to be Glasgow School of Art, where i studied for a BA in illustration and printmaking. In my student days i decided originally to go down the illustration route, as i thought it would offer a better schooling in what i thought was necessar at the time to me growing as an artist – ie. draughtsmanship skills(which of course i now know to be erroneous, to say the least).

3: Where were you born?
3-I am an Essex boy.

4: Explain your work in up to 40 words.
4-Raw, expressive, messy, time consuming, obssessive, brutal(at times), colourful.

5: How has your practice changed over time?
5-My practice is persistently changing, I like what Anthony Caro said “If you want to change your work, change your habits” I find i go through completely unpredictable phases, of media and subject.

6: Do you have a favourite medium to work in?
6-Currently my favourite medium is without a shadow of a doubt oils, but its not an exclusivity thing with me. My larger more time consuming work is in oils, but I work on a variety of paintings throughout any given day, and media vary like the subject – frequently.

7: Do you pursue any themes? If so what?
7-The figure is persistently appearing in my work, but i baulk at calling myself a “figuarive artist”(I have found figuarive artist are generally a bit to absorbed with figure studies, and for me it has a bit of a stink of vanity to it, when you persistently studying anything for too long).

8: What other jobs have you done/do you do other than being an artist?
8-Oh jobs i have done, floor screeding, builders labourer, dustbin man, shop floor cleaner, telesales(in several differnet roles), floor fitter, bespoke Italian wedding album maker, gardener, framer, illustrator, van driver, sales assistant, etc…..

9: What research do you do for your art?
9-Mmmmm, I probably shouldn’t say this publicly, but in the interests of being honest…… for the most part very little, but for good reason. I never know where my paintings are going to lead, and they’re certainly not narrative driven, so research quickly becomes redundant.

10: What makes you angry?
10-ha ha ha ha, well if you only know me through social media, then it’s going to look like it’s easier to monitor when I am not angry……… It may come as a shock, but actually, i am not an angry person in the slightest, but…………. I am prone to a high number of verbal outbursts per day, whether I have company or not,(my neighbours will attest to this)but i am always painting, so although i maybe articulating what can be misconstrued as “angry”, its mostly done to take the piss……… so long version there(you may gather from that response i have occasionally encountered the “you’re angry” response from people, but like I say, only on occasion).

11: What is your favourite colour?
11-Well having watched Ex Machina only last night i am going to quote from Caleb ” Seeings as i am not ten, I don’t have a favourite colour”.

12: What is your favourite piece that you have produced?
12-Changes every day thankfully. There are some that will stand out, but i am not actually sure thats because they’re better paintings……. I suppose amongst my favourites would be Coercive Coalescence. But essentially to me it’s a gauge of process, sometime i think i can monitor a significant change in one piece of work, and so i tend to gravitate to using that as my yardstick for favourite paintings.

13: What music/album are you currently listening to?
13- Listening to a lot of Ian Brown at the mo, but albums/music are becoming less and less a part of what i have on nowadays whilst i’m painting. tends to be documentaries in some form…….. Stanhopes podcasts are proving very funny -“Floyd’s “Kiss my asshole goodbye” Party” was particularly funny………… and i did listen to that yesterday.

14: What makes you happy?
14-Oh thats the easiest one to answer, being left to my devices to paint.

15: What are your favourite films?
15-Mmmmmmm favourite films……… Fight Club is going to be in there without a doubt, I think Wolf on Wall Street is easily the funniest thing i have seen in a movie, i wish they’d release an edit with the missing forty odd minutes that censors reportedly omitted…, Thought Under the Skin, and Frequencies were a couple of great bits of sci fi recently.

16: Favourite place?
16-Norway was stunning, and i keep meaning to work from the photos i took there……….. Lake District, need a bit more time there. City wise i am going to go with Bristol, simply because there are memeories that i know i have left there somewhere. But these places are only of value if i get lots of time to paint.

17: One or more artists you admire?
17-Lots of artists i admire, and there seems to be an increasing scale of competition. I keep going back to Auerbach, Bomberg is for me the best British painter in the last century. Realistically though i find it’s how i engage with what they’re saying, all too often i find i don’t actually admire the artists work as much as i do their opinion.

18: What is your favourite word?
18-I love words, and i love the ones that cause physical reactions best, so I think we can move on to question 19…..

19: Professionally what is your goal?
19-To maintain an income for long enough to not have to go back to the soul destroying practice of working for a boss. I used to have a more romantic ideal of ambition.

20: What would your dream commission be?
20-Literally just posted photos of what has pretty much been a dream commission. The reason i say that is…… I was given pretty much total control of the image, and so it was like working on something i would have done.

Image Courtesy of Josh Bowe.

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