Bill Owens trained as an auto mechanic before gravitating naturally to photography. His work documents the lives of everyday, ordinary people and is celebrated in a current exhibition at the San Jose Art Museum, Bill Owens: Everyday People. His focus, a sort of behind-the-scenes look at suburbia, resulted in keen observation of American life. Given that the bulk of his works came during the 1970s, Owens' work also demonstrates the most popular styles of the period. Expect shag carpets and wide lapels... as well as some serious bouffant hairdos.
On view: July 18 to February 5, 2012.
San Jose Art Museum, 110 South Market Street, San Jose, CA.
From left to right: Untitled (2 men at Lawrence Livermore Lab?), from the "Working (I Do It For The Money)" series, circa 1967-1997, Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 inces, Gift of Robert Harshorn Shimshak and Marion Brenner; It's Fun to break up glass. We're doing our thing for ecology and the Boy Scouts will give us a badge for working here, from the "Suburbia" series, circa 1971, Gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 inches, Museum purchase with funds contributed by the Collections Committee; Untitled (Ice Cream Man - "Debbie's 447-7660"), from the "Working" series, ca 1976-77, Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 inches, Gift of Robert Harshorn Shimshak and Marion Brenner.