Join Katsy Johnson for an artist talk. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMlceqvqjsvE90iyeF7Ww21S52-hBjr1Ytj
Did you hear about the one about the newcomer who got off the train in the old Wild West? The first awed words he spoke were, “My goodness, all this place needs is a little more water and a better class of people to move in”. A nearby cowboy drawled, “Yeah, they say that’s all Hell needs, too”.
As I found canvassing old western locales over the past few years, some things never change. Actually, that’s not quite true…these places still need water, but are lacking people in general, quality of character or not. From fading Route 66 attractions, to gold mining towns that have gone belly up, and cattle towns that have a lot fewer cowboys, I found a lot to photograph that was barely clinging to a touch of its vintage glory.
My work in “The Wild, Waning West” is reminiscent of images you’d see in travel postcards from the 1920s-1950s. Only my images are poster sized, and deliberately imperfect to match the flawed images of the past: undersaturated via Photoshop and oversaturated with hand colored paint, and often off kilter and over the lines.
I hope these images bring the viewer along the endless miles of backroads to witness scenes of wild beauty and a touch of adventure. However, they also call to question of a dissipation of our idealized past and an increased social isolation of our present…even in these once favored places, winds of change are dispersing a glorified history of the American West.