Santa Fe, NM
June 21-July 10
This story was featured in the June 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art June 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art June 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
Lately Ben Steele has been turning his witty, creative eye on the myths and lore of the Wild West. The results are on display at Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art this month. In the presentation, titled Ben Steele’s Wild West Art Show, collectors can expect to enjoy Steele’s usual unconventional take on traditional genres and subject matter. The show opens with a reception for the artist on June 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.
The show features 20 new paintings, including BEN STEELE’S WILD WEST ART SHOW—THE BEST SHOW ON CANVAS, which captures the spirit of the new body of work. The inspiration for the title work springs from an old poster that advertised one of Buffalo Bill’s famous traveling extravaganzas. “I think Buffalo Bill symbolized the West about as much as anyone,” Steele says. “He was a Renaissance man, a real man of the West who dabbled in just about every field that would come to define the region: soldier, trapper, miner, hunter, pony-express rider, chief of scouts, and more.”
In Steele’s opinion, he plays a similar role in his modern-day artistic career as that of yesteryear’s Buffalo Bill. They both are craftsmen, creators, showmen, and inventors. Steele adds that each role requires a certain vanity and sense of self-importance in order to continually put ideas before the public. As an artist, he finds that egocentric part of his career a little embarrassing.
A perennial visual jokester, Steele has always been fond of turning both historical and pop-culture icons on their ears. “Being kind of an art genre bender, western art is a theme I haven’t yet gotten to explore, and I’m excited about doing my own take on both the beauties and the clichés of western art,” he says.
The Utah-based painter creates thought-provoking scenes that almost always bring a smile at the same time. Gallery director Palin Wiltshire says, “Ben Steele’s work attracts art lovers of all genres. This year, with the addition of the Wild West as the theme, we’ll have the opportunity to see his interpretations of western artists for the first time.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the June 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art June 2013 digital download
Southwest Art June 2013 print issue
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