Where the Buffalo Roamed: Images of the New West

Where the Buffalo Roamed: Images of the New West
By Joan Myers Essay by Lucy R. Lippard Damiani Editore October 2019

In this latest collection of photographs, taken over the last forty-five years, Joan Myers turns her lens to the contemporary American West. In so doing, she turns our conception of western landscapes and the life contained within them upside down, revealing the changes the region has undergone over the last half-century.

Her perspective is at once elegiac and ironic, capturing the myth and reality of the West, its shaping and appropriation by Hollywood, popular culture, and the ever-present, but fracturing American dream. A larger-than-life statue of a cowboy stands on the same lot with a 1960s Cadillac Coupe de Ville. A man in Wrangler jeans and a cowboy hat sits for his portrait on a dais with a Hopi maiden, cows, and deer made out of barbed wire in front of a curtain featuring a photograph of iconic cliffs and sky. A billboard buffalo stands in a field flanked by red rock cliffs on one side and oil refineries on the other with a sign announcing, “Scenic Areas—Indian Country.” A cardboard John Wayne-lookalike cowboy poses by a fence topped by saddles and a sign that says, “We accept all credit cards.”

In deconstructing the pictures, cultural critic Lucy Lippard notes that they “seem to emerge from cracks in American culture. They show us a past that still affects, and reflects, our present, revealing unexpected insights into how the myths of the West were formed and how they relate to reality.”

Hardcover: 160 pp.; 102 color images; 12 x 9.75

ISBN: 978-88-6208-656-1

Available at bookstores or from www.artbook.com

Read a review on ArtDaily here. “Joan Myers turns her lens to the contemporary American West in new book”