The Rockwell Museum of Western Art is having an Andy Warhol exhibit right now titled “Andy Warhol: Cowboys and Indians.” It began January 22nd and goes until Mid-October of this year.
According to the Rockwell’s website, Warhol turned his attention to the American West towards the end of his career “not to document the reality of the land and people of the west,” but to explore “how the idea of the West has had an impact on our perceptions [of it]”. Which is why Warhol chose to portray character images like John Wayne. A description on the museum’s website describes the exhibit:
“Cowboys and Indians” presents a panorama of widely seen images reworked in Warhol’s trademark style. It is the image itself, not the reality behind the image, that is important to Warhol… These are images that have been burned into our collective imagination… In many respects, the real person behind the image also has been obscured. All have been removed from the context of reality. They are presented here not so much as people, but as products. One of Warhol’s great talents was to recognize images that have an immediate resonance with the public… [Warhol] has deftly tapped into that vast reservoir of powerful images that somehow relate to reality, but also mystify it.
Read the full description of the exhibit here.