Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Anonymous Cowboys of Keith Davis

The Man with no Name was the character played by Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy of spaghetti westerns made during the 1960s.  A Fistful of Dollars , For a Few Dollars More and the blockbuster The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which Rotten Tomatoes lists as the second best western of all time, made the spaghetti western an art form and Clint Eastwood a household name.  The laconic, taciturn, enigmatic stranger resonated with audiences despite his moral ambiguity or perhaps because of it. It was the 60’s after all.

There is a similar resonance in the cowboy paintings by Texas artist Keith Davis. A self taught artist in the outsider mold, Davis produced this series over the last couple of years. His anonymous cowboys exude the same self confidence as the spaghetti western anti hero be they bulldoggin’ a steer, riding a bucking bronco or playing a guitar by a camp fire.

Influences from Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse are evident in the works but Davis has repurposed them to meet his own ends. Along with an added dash of pop culture, these nostalgically inspired works are as enjoyable to view today as the movies were when they first lit up the silver screen.

A selection of Davis’ work is on show from the 5th to the 20th of December at William Reaves Fine Art’s Contemporary Texas Regionalist Holiday Show.

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