Artist of the moment …..Robert Dowd

Robert Dowd was another fantastic artist that painted works of art using currency as a subject. Dowd was born in Detroit, Michigan in the year 1936. He sometimes used O’Dowd for a last name.
He joined the marines and after getting discharged Dowd attended the Society of Arts and Crafts/ Center for creative studies which was located in Detroit. Whilst at the center het studied with an artist deeply associated with Detroit, Sarkis Sarkisian. Sarkisian emigrated with his family at the age thirteen from Turkey. He was always gracious about the opportunities Detroit gave him. Below is an image showing Sarkisian’s style.
Dowd is associated with the Pop art movement and first jumped onto the national scene for some paintings of every day objects such as postage stamps. Dowd decided to head west to California to further his career. Dowd moved to Los Angeles and was invited to exhibit at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1962. The show featured many well known artists such as Warhol, Jim Dine, and Lichtenstein.
In the 60’s any anti goverment or anti-establishment was frowned upon and painting currency,even the ones that were just done to make a political or humorous statement, and Dowd caught the attention of the F.B.I. The agents went to his studio, confisscated his art, and then told collectors they would be next! If he continued to paint money he would be arrested.
Dowd started to concentrate on painting ordinary postage stamps. Like the money he painted the stamps
were extremely larger than in real life. One fact to remember is that he had just finished a stamp painting of President John Kennedy the day the president wad killed.
Los Angeles would have some bad events that led to Dowd relocating to SoHo and New York. Dowd painted murals for large companies and window scenes for offices that didn’t have any. New York gave Dowd many chances to nuture his professional career.

When he first moved to Los Angeles he met a lady artist that was well known in art circles for her bold and geometric paintings, her name was Mara Devereux. The two would go on to marry but had no children. She hasn’t remarried since Dowd passed away in 1996. Below is an example of Devereux’s style of painting. She also became known for some sculpture like work that was based on a five sided box. Here is a link to a gallery featuring the art of Mara Devereux:



Price range info: Sorry, none available.

Like many other artists he had no health insurance. He developed kidney problems and didn’t seek out financial help as he was too proud for that. His complications grew worse and he passed away in 1996.

More money, currency, and postage stamp painters to come!


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