17 Jan Adam Lowenbein – Artist Interview
What made you decide to produce art or become an artist?
I have been making art since childhood. My father was a painter and he had a studio in our house so I was exposed to painting at a very early age and encouraged to explore and experiment.
As a kid I was obsessed with magic and would spend my allowance on new tricks from the local toy store. I could get lost in my imagination for hours playing with these illusions. Painting became another way to lose myself in an imaginary place and to create a kind of thought bubble for myself.
I understand the world best through visual language. I use painting to Interpret the world and attempt to locate myself in it.
How does the creative process work for you on a daily basis?
My studio is the place where I bring all of my thoughts and experiences and lay them out, break them open and try to use them as visual material. I am always collecting information and inspiration and often have no idea what will bubble up and become subject matter. For me, the ritual of spending dedicated time in my workspace is what allows the seeds of something to sprout and become something else.
My process is very non linear. I do not really like to know where I am going. I like to find my work along the way.
Flower, 48″ x 36″
What has influenced or inspired you most?
I have been greatly influenced by my father who was a technically brilliant painter and sensitive thinker who taught me to question everything and to look. I have encountered countless artists along the way who have also had great influence- David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Jessica Stockholder- these change and develop all the time.
Which medium do you favor and why?
I work with acrylic polymer paint for its versatility and quick drying properties and I use oil paint for its lusciousness, transparency and seeming endless manipulative qualities. I also love to paint on canvas for the pure connection to art history.
Please comment on the subject, content or significance of your images.
In my work I am playing with identity, location and recognition. I am interested in how we are seen and how we are reflected in the world around us.
When I was young, my father ran an advertising agency and my family often posed for his illustrations- pretending to bowl at an alley or hold a gun, or standing in the backyard wearing a cardboard drum major’s hat as if we were leading a parade.. These images would then be translated into book covers or magazine ads.
This was an early glimpse that things are not necessarily as they seem and that what is “real” is created. I am fascinated with this idea of fabricated reality.
For years I’ve worked as a decorative painter in the homes (I think of them as stages) of wealthy clients. I’m fascinated with the way people create the visual story of their lives through objects and decoration- another level of illusion that often cannot really tell the story.
In my paintings I play with images of myself, of celebrities, of places both fantastical and everyday and try to create a sort of mirror that doesn’t reflect in a literal way but instead holds open a kind of mind space where the viewer can enter. I play with special illusion and color in order to bring the viewer out of their own space and into the painting.
Little Bird, 17″ x 14″
What notable collections is your work found in?
have paintings in The West Collection, Oaks, PA
I have done decorative work on the homes of Steve Martin, Billy Crystal and Rick Moranus.
What have been the highlights of your career?
I have shown paintings in various solo and group shows in New York City and the surrounding areas.
My favorite show was an exhibition of my work alongside that of my late father.
My decorative painting has been featured in House and Garden, Veranda, The New York Times Magazine, World of Interiors and many more.
My illustration paintings have been featured in The New Yorker, Mademoiselle, Food and Wine as well as many book covers.