Magazine article Southwest Art

Eric Bowman

Magazine article Southwest Art

Eric Bowman

Article excerpt

Maxwell Alexander Gallery, June 2-30

A LONE COWBOY sits atop a hill overlooking the desert below. As he sits on his horse with his hat pulled down low, he watches the sun fall into the horizon and thinks about his day. There are no houses or cities in the distance. He has no companions with him. Man and horse sit alone in contemplation of the adventures ahead. Eric Bowman's new body of work drops viewers into these quiet moments in the lives of American cowboys. "This is what I like best about the western genre," Bowman says. "Hollywood has romanticized that vision of the cowboy, and I've always loved it."

The artist presents 12 of his newest works in a solo show this month, titled Storybook Cowboy, at Maxwell Alexander Gallery. The show opens on Saturday, June 2, with an artist's reception that evening. The early illustrators of the 1900s, who depicted the American West that soon grew into the expansive western genre of entertainment, influence Bowman's style and subject matter. The artist is simultaneously paying homage to those artists while putting his own contemporary spin on the subject. To create his new pieces, Bowman worked with models and took photos of modern cowboys and ranch hands for reference. But he changes their clothing for a more historic feel in each piece. "It's this fusion of contemporary working cowboys and the iconic images we associate with western heroes," Bowman says. "Nothing would give you a sense of them being contemporary, but they're still generic enough to belong to any era. …

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