American, born 1979
Nate Lowman appropriates, paints, and photographs existing imagery, mining the detritus of pop culture in mixed-media works that critique celebrity culture, consumerism, and the saturation of sex and violence in mass media. Known for his blown-up images of fake cartoon bullet holes and ironic bumper stickers turned into linguistic assaults, in recent years Lowman has developed a painted smiley face—banal, and sometimes sinister—as his signature. The idea came when the artist saw the smiley face that O. J. Simpson integrated into his signature in a letter written to fans after he was charged with the murder of his wife. Lowman also produces silkscreens, which he composes by painting over a projected image, including a series in which he created iterations of de Kooning’s 1954 Marilyn Monroe. He is associated with a group of New York artists that includes Dan Colen, Leo Fitzpatrick, Ryan McGinley, and the late Dash Snow.