Artist opens 5,000-square-foot gallery in La Jolla


Everything Australian artist Shane Bowden does, he does big. He produced 8,000 original paintings last year. His biggest are 16 feet by 8 feet. And, for his new gallery in La Jolla, he wanted plenty of space. “A lot of the passion projects that I have are very large and you need the space to show them correctly,” Bowden said.

His new place, “Shane Bowden — The Gallery,” opened May 20 at 7655 Girard Ave. With 5,000 square feet and two separated exhibition sites, Bowden calls it “the biggest gallery in San Diego, and maybe Southern California.”

The space holds more than 100 pieces by the artist, and three upcoming guest artists Ricky Yozamp, Paula Montheli and Juan Muniz. “I love emerging art, I love people who are just coming through … When you have been going for long periods of time, you become very stuck with your line of work and are not willing to move forward or experiment quite as much anymore,” Bowden said.

Bowden said he moved to San Diego two years ago, and he lives in Point Loma. His wife was born and raised in San Diego, but for his art space, he knew he wanted La Jolla. “I just love La Jolla. I love that it has a tight community, but it also has a beautiful, adventurous feel,” Bowden said.

His art is divided into two parts. What he’s better known for is his efficient production of original, pop silkscreen-printed pieces. “I’ve been told I’m the Andy Warhol of silk,” he laughed. His prints are, indeed, Warhol-looking. He uses pop culture iconography and repeats it, featuring different colors, splattering, and other techniques to make each unique.

The second variety that Bowden explores is Neo-expressionism, very colorful abstract pieces. “I just do them because they make me very happy,” he said. The price range of his work is $250 to $250,000.

Bowden said he already loves the San Diego art scene. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised; they are doing great. I love the Museum of Contemporary Art, I think it’s phenomenal,” he said. When asked to compare it to larger art scenes like LA or New York, Bowden said he prefers smaller communities. “The more time goes on, people are actually moving out of those areas into their own areas, because it all becomes the same … You go, ‘well this is another one.’ And everyone is like, ‘well, is that as good as that? or is this as good as that?’ and not really.

“La Jolla was always been a little bit of an art haven for people because they could think, and write, or paint, or act, or do things in the art sense without being manipulated or influenced too much by the LA or the New York thing.”

The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, at 7655 Girard Ave.