Popular culture has defined the cowboy by his riding boots, fringed leather pants, acute smoking habit, large bushy mustache, and stone-cold demeanor. Originally the spitting image of Americana, artists and filmmakers alike have recently queered, weirded, diversified, and otherwise transformed the macho cowboy into an icon for their communities. Spanning painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography, the group exhibition Weird West at Hashimoto Contemporary explores how the various lenses and voices of the American experience have changed Western iconography and its historical associations, revealing the contemporary cowboy’s metamorphosed identity.

Drew Christie creates surreal, mirage-like depictions of the land and its wild inhabitants, skewing our perspectives as the miles of open terrain might confuse a typical city-dweller. Grace Kennison paints equally surreal Western icons like horses, mountains, and menacing cowgirls from the remote western frontier of the San Juan Valley in Colorado. Looming above canyons illuminated by car lights, a cowboy hat sports clown makeup and a golden cross necklace, suggesting the symbols of western expansion, while ubiquitous, are performative. Drawn from more intimate sources, Patrick Oates’s scenes of cowboys, horses, and lone churches cast a somber mood on the typically action-filled genre. The Australian artist depicts characters from his family tree in twilight blue, imagining the grief and sorrow of relatives he’s never met to become closer to the ones he has. Rendered in rich, earthy hues, Anthony Hurd’s cowboy lovers mix the tough, masculine ideal of the Wild West with the soft tenderness of newfound love.

Together, the artists in Weird West merge their own stories, cultures, and histories with the iconography of the Western genre, reimagining the icons of the American past to create a future that looks and feels like their weird realities.

Join the gallery and some of the participating artists for the opening of Weird West on Saturday, April 13th from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Angela Burson | Drew Christie | Grace Kennison | Jillian Evelyn | rafa esparza | Eleanor Foy | Becca Fuhrman | Yomahra Gonzalez | Fabian Guerrero | Anthony Hurd | Christine Mai Nguyen | Kara Rose Marshall | Robert Martin | Christopher Martin | Patrick Oates | Luke Pelletier | Joel Daniel Phillips | Dylan Anthony Roworth | AP Shrewsbury | Madeleine Tonzi | Alex Ziv | curated by Miranda Evans