Michael Allen Lowe
the work
the artist
current show
"Night Owls" 72" x 92.75" Oil on Canvas

The setting for this work is a boudoir scene
from Jean-Honore Fragonard’s drawing,
Jets d’eau
, c.1765-70, wherein nozzles have
emerged from the floor spraying water,
awaking sleeping nude female figures.  Lowe
exaggerates the imagery in this mildly erotic
drawing by replacing the nozzles  with
phalluses, and adds figures from his own
imagination.  The fleshed-out children in Victorian dress are referenced from
Antoine Watteau’s painting
Country Amusements, c.1720.  Lowe’s imagined ghostly
apparitions, or owl bottomed ladies, amusingly illustrate the common colloquial
night owls.      

  -There many a bird of broadest pinion built
  Secure her nest, the owl, the kite, and daw
  Long-tongued, frequenter of the sandy shores.
  A garden-vine luxuriant on all sides
  Mantled the spacious cavern, cluster-hung
  Profuse; four fountains of serenest lymph
  Their sinuous course pursuing side by side,
  Stray’d all around, and ev’ry where appear’d. . .
  .  .  . heav’n’s messenger, admiring stood
  That sight, and having all survey’d, at length
  Enter’d the grotto; nor the lovely nymph
  Him knew not soon as seen, for not unknown
  Each to the other the Immortals are,
  How far soever sep’rate their abodes.

                         The Odyssey of Homer (Book V. p.110)
                         Translated by Henry Fuseli
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