Artexpo New York 2022 is back on April 7-10 at Pier 36. Here at Art Business News, we’ll be highlighting this year’s Spotlight Artists, showcasing each artists’ unique style and creative process.
John Dowling will be showing several pieces from his “A Miracle In The Making” collection, including two large 60” x 78” abstract pieces surface mounted on acrylic. His digital paintings are best observed in larger sizes, although the smaller formats are also exceptionally striking. However to truly understand Dowling’s vision he prefers to share them in the larger formats. Another interesting facet of Dowling’s vision is that the pieces are meant to be viewed both as individual works and also as montages of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of works that then form a distinctly new image. When complete, they can measure hundreds of feet in length and width for use in large arenas, atriums, and permanent grande installations.
Dowling’s odyssey began in the ’80s. While recovering from a devastating illness he spent time painting his photos on his laptop as art therapy. Dowling was and is a preeminent photojournalist and fine art photographer and has photographed countless celebrities, models, politicians, executives, wildlife, landscapes and nature, high-profile events, and life in general. Often Dowling would walk daily marathons to grow new arteries as he was born with a genetic mutation in his liver that destroys them. He is lucky to be alive and looking forward after 30 years of fighting the effects of this mutation to the cure that was just announced and will be available sometime in the next year.
During his days working with film and in traditional darkrooms Dowling experimented obsessively with multiple exposure photography and montages. Years later while recovering from those grueling marathons and surgeries Dowling began to photo-retouch old photographs from his family albums and friends’ ancestry photos that were ripped and torn. Later he would superimpose many digital images taking the most attractive portion of each shot to create a master print comprised of many photographs to create one world-class portrait. As Dowling’s retouching and compositing became more and more elaborate he started to paint his photographs with abstract textures and combine images to create illusions.
What makes Dowling’s work so unique is his extensive use of layers that cause each viewer to have different perceptions of what they see. A unique technique of leading the viewer to have false affirmations of what they see, as well as challenging the human conscious mind to see what actually exists. The actual term for this psychological effect is scotomization. Dowling relies heavily on this illusionistic technique and has taken it to a level rarely if ever seen in the art industry both historically and presently. These shapes, patterns, and illusions often lead to the viewer working to find the objects in his pieces and to moments where the observer has a “eureka moment” or epiphany.
Today, collectors are retaining Dowling to create and curate leased pieces to form galleries in their homes and offices that can change seasonally, or permanently for those who invest in Dowling’s art. In the early days Dowling’s museum-quality prints sold for a few thousand dollars, however, within a year, offers on Dowling’s abstract pieces increased to well over $5000 on editions of 100. Now Dowling is receiving offers for well over $7500. Larger 1 of 1 editions is selling for over $150,000. In addition, each piece in his collection has a master NFT that is valued at between $150,000 and $349,000. There are 218 individual works of art in Dowling’s “A Miracle In The Making” fine art collection, his first collection to be released since the ’80s. He is already receiving offers on the entire collection which includes reproduction rights. Dowling will retain author rights.