painting at the we’re O.K. Corral

An enduring myth of American culture is that of the rugged individualist. One of the core values of American culture is the drama in all its variants of an individual determinedly sticking to a singular and personal code of ethics irrespective of outside influence, the opinions of the majority. Something intangible, a kind of magic that will not only survive, but also bloom and thrive, acting to sustain the spirit of an ethical, but not necessarily nice loner who navigates his way bravely through a corrupt and often false world, and choose their associates along the way, some of which don’t follow conventional wisdom.

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High Noon.Gary Cooper A bit of John Wayne. Composites of all types of forgotten and anonymous who have somehow left an imprint on our collective consciousness.As unhip and uncool as this may appear to the educated, Yuppie, post modern, Zen, yoga, green, deconstructed; it really holds much that is true. Face it, its what constitute America’s greatness which despite all the failures which with unending application and fervor we are made aware of a daily basis, it is still the most open, the most inclusive, and greatest culture in history.

Read More: ---Anyone who played the computer game “Oregon Trail” as a kid has to be excited for what is practically the film adaptation, “Meek’s Cutoff.” While looking a lot more dry and dark than the children’s game, this film really looks to be something of great, unorthodox adventure film.---

So, artistically, it becomes very easy, the past of least resistance to disparage the past, anything not pop art post modern as if pre-pop culture has no value, being locked in the “primitive” mode of expression, a less than acceptable articulation of the human condition.Not true. All this to say that Madame Pickwick has brought back in, after an absence of several years, a collection of painting surfaces that evoke bygone days of our pioneer heritage.

Image: Read More: Charles Russell. ---From 1880 to about 1910 marked the period of the cowboy artists of the Old West. In fact the cowboy lifestyle occurred after the destruction of the bison and Plains Indian culture after the Civil War, so that the cowboy basically took over in the 1870s and 1880s. Once the railroads were more efficient and barb wire was in place the open range and cattle drives changed the role of the cowboy. Cowboys continued to function but within shorter distances and tighter spaces. The romantic image of cowboy lifestyle was maintained through increased media, rodeos, wild west shows and eventually with film. At the end of the 19th century a number of 'cowboy artists/illustrators' were able to make a living because of an increase in commercial illustrations in advertising posters, books and magazines. In the early part of the 20th century magazines like Collier's and Harper's Weekly became popular and embellished the so called 'myth' of the 'Old West'. The most famous of these artist were Frederic Remington and Charley Russell.---

Annie Oakley is not going to be doing a live fire demonstration in our showroom, but we will be carrying imitation old fashioned “rusted” tin objects such as shovels, milk cans, household implements and Christmas decorations in the spirit an older and sometimes wiser America. For some reason that boundary breaking, frontier pushing aspect of American culture never took hold in Europe, though the attraction of certain aspects like the cowboy and Indian culture remain powerful symbols in France, whether it’s Rousseau’s Noble Savage or to kick in Voltaire’s head that Canada was “nothing more than a few acres of snow” …

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