BILL OWENS. Passenger on Boat to Nantucket, Rhode Island, 2005, 10-1/2" x 13-3/4" (framed size: 18-1/2" x 21"). Digital C-Print. Provenance: Jack Hanley Gallery, Los Angeles, California. Unsigned. Has Gallery label on the back. Condition: Frame has dirt.
Bill Owens came to prominence in the early 1970s. After graduating from California State University at Chico (1963), he began to pursue photography while serving in the Peace Corps (1964-66). Later, when working as a newspaper photographer for the Independent News in Livermore, California (1968-78), a small city 33 miles east of San Francisco, Owens was assigned the daily beat of the suburban activities of his friends and neighbors.
Owens' first book Suburbia (Straight Arrow Books, 1972) was a fascinating catalog of many of the individuals that the artist met while his camera was trained on the various yard sales, PTA meetings, church socials, and other social phenomena of his neighborhood. In Suburbia, the artist paired photographs of these plain folks with short, descriptive statements in their own words or paraphrased from interviews. The photographs have a compelling presence by themselves, but the combination of word and image runs the gamut from amusing humor to touching pathos. Source: Greg Kucera Gallery
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