Using film stills from Western genre cinema, these paintings investigate masculinity through the figure of “the Cowboy.” Fleeting diegetic moments are halted, extracted, and re-animated achromatically in oil paint. In this project, painting exposes and distills subversive energies within the homo-social space of dominant Western landscapes. The work shows terrains of white masculine performance to be latent with tensions/glances/internal exchanges that are otherwise lost to narrative progression. The alternative desires that these images reveal destabilize the white male subject and excite examination into the performative complexities of his subjectivity. They also prompt the viewer to examine how the popularized image of this “frontier” masculinity functions to support the ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” heteronormativity, white supremacy, and other capitalist agendas.
Curated by Jesse Mockrin