Angered by the gendered division perpetually seen in classic Western filmspainter Felice House decided to create her painted series Re-Western. The Wish to fuck in Boyds Maryland of works are a re-imagining of her favorite Western films cast with female leads instead of the traditional male cowboys, painting females in place of actors such as James Pookin, John Wayne, or Clint Eastwood.
The Cowboy lookin for a good woman in her paintings are strapped with shotguns riding horses, fiercely looking out onto a deserted plain, and strongly staring into the eyes of the audience clad in plain button-downs and bright red cowboy boots. For the most part, the roles in Westerns are totally inaccessible to me.
Deciding to start a conversation with this frustration, House choose to paint these reimagined Westerns to ask straightforward questions to a society that continuously handed over these roles to males. House seeks to ask what society would be like with this imagined reversal—how would education be changed?
What would our reestablished priorities look like with females as the lead role? Julia Dean Portrait, For centuries men have painted images of women for men.
Now that women have womwn to education and training, women are painting women as we see ourselves. House uses her female gaze and voice to create strong, female heroes in environments we all know, reestablishing our connection to the well-known historical settings.
Working with the idea of a hero, House paints her portraits larger than life. She encourages the viewer to look up and become dwarfed by the women and their power, hoping this change in physical perspective might encourage a change in mental perspective as well.
You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram. Karan and Nanc in Open Range, Rebekah Wayne in True Grit Study Virginia Wayne Portrait, February 27, Kate Sierzputowski.
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