The Dime Novel Paintings are part of my Western Series, which you can see here.
They are still life paintings referencing the covers of early 20th century Western themed weekly fiction publications.
The West lives as much in the imagination, in hyperbolic stories of legendary skill and courage, as it does in historical fact. We are much nearer to the source of the legends than earlier stories of medieval knights or Greek heroes. We even have photography, which can show us the real faces of some of our legendary figures, should they actually have any base in reality. Yet this vision of the west does not always line up well with historical accounts. Jesse James, for instance, was not a hero or a Robin Hood figure. Rather today many of his actions might be war crimes.
I find theses covers interesting to observe in the way painting something forces you to observe and think about it. I appreciate them not only for their aesthetic qualities, but for their perspective on a west that was already skewed toward legend and myth despite being nearer to the events pictured than we are now.
I also find them interesting from a socio-historical perspective. Like watching movies about the future that were made a generation before the current time, it often tells us more about the writer’s concerns and worldview as a member of his or her time than it does of the time being written about.