Digital images from original Acrylic paintings
Cowboy is a deconstruction of the cowboy as an American myth. The book’s form references that of children’s picture books: its thick, heavy, cover and pages reinforcing the idea that the cowboy and what it stands for has been nothing more than a story. Its goofy and flamboyantly colorful images contrasting with the austere, masculine image of the cowboy. The cover is an appropriation of Richard Prince’s Cowboy, itself an appropriated image from a Marlboro ad.
Each of its spreads are symbolic of an aspect of the cowboy: “Big Iron”, a reference to the Marty Robbins’ song of the same name, is symbolic of the idea of the lone, gun-toting, man solving the world’s problems with his six shooter; “Manifest Destiny” references the idea of the cowboy settling the “Wild West”, a land already populated by Native Americans and Mexicans; and “Paul Bunyan the Cowboy” stands the cowboy side by side with another piece of American folklore, Paul Bunyan, the lumberjack, and his blue ox.