Austin-based artist Chuck Middlekauff paints his own vivid, colorful view of American culture, embellished by nostalgia, twists, puns and some laughs. It’s a combination of inspirations from real cowboys and matinee and TV cowboy heroes, cartoons, toys, music and road trips he took with his family as he grew up through the 1950s and ’60s, and of contemporary imagery he soaks in as he travels with his wife, Carol.
As he goes, encountering American roadside culture, his observations of cowboys reveal that they don’t just ride horses and chase cows; they also play with yo-yos, drink Cokes, eat M&M’S, and just hang out. So, with or without a cowboy, a painting might include a gas pump, Coke machine, sign, mural, pickup truck, boots or other weathered, rusted, textured and disappearing American icons.
“Everybody sees America differently,” he says. “Each scenario I paint, whether real or invented in my mind, is the way I see it.”
Austin, TX, (512) 447-3567 www.chuckmiddlekauff.com