I am a self-taught artist who embraces the power of my pencil to create realistic scenes that captivate the fascination of viewers. My focus on the hidden details seems fitting for someone incarcerated for more than two decades. But only by looking behind those details can the beholder perceive the message in the metaphor.
I never knew art before I came to prison. If I had, I believe I would have made better decisions. Because of art, I feel that I’m free, even behind these cold walls and locked doors. Art is my key. For the last 20 years, I’ve had total freedom to express my thoughts and feelings in a positive way that I wasn't capable of before my incarceration. With each painting, I am increasingly able to heal myself by opening up emotions I locked away so long ago.
Bruce Fowler is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison and hopes that one day incarcerated artists are more recognized in the art world. In 2018, his version of a sun incarcerated was featured on the CBS Sunday Morning show with Ted Koppel. In 2022, Fowler won the Sheridan Prize for Art, Honorable Mention, Incarcerated Artists category, for his painting of supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His artwork has been featured in several exhibitions including Meet us Quickly with Your Mercy: Painting for Justice at the Museum of the African Diaspora. You can support his work at the Facebook page Art by Bruce Fowler.
Read more about him in San Quentin News Artist Spotlight, Beached.
Bruce Fowler (CDCR# P89569)
San Quentin State Prison 3W62L
San Quentin, CA 94974
California | SQSP