Owen Black is an artist in the Bay Area whose work focuses on nature, female strength, beauty, ingenuity and power. Using the pine cone medium–conifer trees' female reproduction systems–Black focuses on shapes and forms that express reverence for the female form across species and phylum: the beauty and grandness of life-giving throughout the natural world.
A body of work spanning two years, Black's work has evolved and expanded, beginning with two-dimensional, flat-symbolic images, like "From Above," a work from 2020. Over time, the work has grown into three dimensions–found 3D objects, other scales and adornments–creating a body that asks questions about feminist theory and issues, and bringing up themes about women's history and man's use of nature.
Black's previous work, "Roses," was a series of acrylic paintings with geometric angles, and "Funny Faces," an ink, marker and acrylic paint series.
Born in Chicago and raised in Maine, Black grew up with and was introduced to punk and hardcore by Mark Baumer, the seminal, departed genius writer. The two hitchhiked across America in 2006, and Black spoke at Baumer's creative writing class at Brown, in 2011.
Black has lived and worked in Boston, Brooklyn and Brazil before settling in the Bay Area. Before producing art, he sang for Jaguarz, the 2000s hard-core band, and founded Trumbull Studio, a Brooklyn gallery and events space in the early 2010s. He has been producing art since 2013.
- Sam Reiss
2022 Sanchez Art Center, Art Guild of Pacifica 64th Annual Members Show, Pacifica, CA*
* Merit Prize Award Winner