David Bowes

Mario Diacono Gallery

Of all recent art-making strategies, deception, whether manifested in the physical, the cerebral, or the emotional, has played perhaps the most prominent role in the shaping of an ’80s sensibility. It can be seen in just about every “hot” art style of the decade: from Julian Schnabel’s mock-heroic posturing to George Condo’s supposed love affair with his palette and Philip Taaffe’s visual distortions of Bridget Riley and Barnett Newman. Recently, deception has played a part in the art world’s romance with age—the tattered, torn, and worn look, as exemplified by the Starn Twins’ taped photocollages and by Holt Quentel’s acid-washed tarps. What is surprising about this phenomenon is how drastically it has altered the face of painting, which has gone through the oddest kind of metamorphosis—from pure and truthful to staged and hypocritical.

David Bowes is a painter who came up through the

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