About the Photographer
American b. 1938
In the Lost and Found Project Harry Bowers flattens various articles of clothing between plates of glass and photographs the results with a large-format camera. His choice of fabrics create vibrant juxtapositions between different patterns and textures, while the playful arrangement of the forms anthropomorphizes the empty clothing, turning each piece into a distinct character in an implied narrative. Some of the photographs are portraits of a sort, featuring individual objects flattened and immobilized in what appear to be constricted or contorted poses. In other images Bowers positions pairs of clothes so they appear to interact, with an overt and occasionally disturbing sexuality.
In another series of images from the Lost and Found Project, Bowers starts with a black and white photograph of a person, often in a huddled position, and then layers on top of it human-shaped paper cut-outs with articulated joints—bendable silhouettes in black or white. Finally, he compresses this assemblage under glass and photographs it. The different figures, one rendered in photographic detail and the other schematically, are posed and positioned in relation to each other in suggestive ways that suggest a condition of vulnerability. Meanwhile Bowers explores the camera's ability to convey depth and space in the combination of the different forms.
Bowers received a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of California, Berkeley (1964) before turning to photography and completing an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute (1974). He worked as an instructor at the San Francisco Art Institute and other universities in California before leaving the field in the early 1980s. Bowers went on to found a number of successful companies that were early forerunners in digital printing technology and color calibration. He lost most of his negatives in 1990, but he rediscovered many of them in 2004 and returned to making art.