Showing

Carl Bower

Carl Bower

 
 
About the Artist

Carl is an American editorial photographer based in Denver, CO.

carlbower.com

 

I photographed three women; all three were well into their third trimesters.  One owned a local restaurant, and another worked there as a cook. The third was an occupational therapist. I hadn’t known the first two before the project, but the therapist was working with my two-year-old daughter.

During the shoot, I tried to avoid interfering with their work as much as possible. By hiding in plain sight, I felt I could better capture their actual experiences in an immediate and visceral way, rather than allowing my presence to influence the scene.

All three women had physically demanding jobs, either standing on their feet for hours in the restaurant, or bending, squatting and crawling on the floor with small children. I went in looking to capture a degree of physical duress, but I didn’t find it. All three planned to work right up until their delivery dates and, surprisingly—to me, at least—none of them seemed at all physically compromised in what they did. Sometimes, it seems, the important thing to see is that there’s nothing to see at all.

 
 
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TIFFANY, COOK

2012, © Carl Bower

 
 
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TIFFANY, COOK, AND STEPHANIE, RESTAURANT OWNER

2012, © Carl Bower

 
 
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ANDREA, PEDIATRIC PHYSICAL THERAPIST

2012, © Carl Bower

 
 
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Private Viewing

1995, © Carl Bower

 
 
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Scrutiny

1995, © Carl Bower

 

While I hadn’t done a series on pregnancy before, some of my previous work does attempt to capture the incongruity between outward appearance and inner life. I think that’s why I was attracted to Showing in the first place. The very word--Showing--implies the dissonance between outer and inner life. Usually, one elects to show something. But when it comes to a pregnancy, there’s really no choice at all. When a woman is pregnant, she shows it whether she wants to or not. Carrying a developing human being inside your body is an intimate experience. And yet, it’s also out there for everyone to see.

Chica Barbie, a long-term project on the culture of beauty pageants in Colombia, dealt with the absolute mania surrounding the contests and the experiences of the participants. And, more recently, I’ve been making portraits of people who share their innermost private fears with me. It’s not that I’m particularly interested in fear. I’m interested in the relationship between who we are and who we appear to be.

 
 
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Whiskey Judging

1995, © Carl Bower

 
 
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Backstage

1997, © Carl Bower

 
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Aguardiente

1997, © Carl Bower

 
 
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Chica Barbie

1995, © Carl Bower

 
 
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Circle of Men

1997, © Carl Bower

 
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Cellulite

1998, © Carl Bower

 
 
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Miss Coffee

1997, © Carl Bower

 
 
 
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Janine

2018, © Carl Bower

 
 
 
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Chelsea

2016, © Carl Bower

 
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Julia

2017, © Carl Bower

 
 

Jennifer

2017, © Carl Bower

 
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Angeline

2018, © Carl Bower