|Product Details |
Bright Sky Press
From Publishers Weekly
Using the cumbersome nineteenth century tintype method, National Geographic photographer Kendrick made a series of faux-antique portraits of some of the men (and one woman) who work as cowboys on Texas ranches today. Unlike Richard Avedon's similarly themed In the American West, this lavish book has no interest in the cultural contradictions inherent in the lives of those who deliberately try to evoke long-vanished and economically marginal ways of life-Kendrick is content to record the cowboys' images as lovingly as they would have themselves. In such an aesthetic, character is not revealed, but worn like chaps or an elaborately groomed mustache. The result is a book whose preening collective narcissism tips it over into the realm of camp. Perhaps sensing this, in his introduction Kendrick writes defensively, "The point of this project has not been to romanticize the cowboy and transport him back to the 19th century, but to document those who carry on the traditions, values and lifestyles that many today would find isolating, lonely or simply too hard." This sheer nonsense compounds the book's fervid glorification of its already self-romanticizing subjects with the implication that they are somehow better than those people who work in office buildings. And in a world where the figure of the Texas "cowboy" has become symbolic for very different reasons, this book-financed by a bank and conceived by an advertising agency-has a political subtext that's hard to ignore.
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"When I first saw the cowboy photographs, my eyes played a trick on my mind."
"Robb Kendrick has captured the timeless essence of the cowboy."
San Antonio Express-News
"A true labor of love."
Fort Worth Start-Telegram
"a fascinating book of portraits. They, like the mythology that sometimes surrounds cowboys, are far from finely focused."
Abilene Reporter News
"The portrait . . . tells a timeless tale of American life, American dreams and the American frontier."
"The images truly portray the spirit of Texas cowboys--determination, integrity, humility and a strong work ethic."
The cowboy of the 19th century gave Texas its character. His honesty, steadiness, sense of humor, work ethic and determination, created as (the) state grew up on the range, remain as Texans’ indigenous values. In the minds of many, the Texas Cowboy is now only myth or legend, but Robb Kendrick’s Texas Tintypes manifest what is known in the soul of Texans everywhere: the cowboy remains. Documenting the 21st-century working cowboy in Revealing Character, renowned photographer Robb Kendrick has used the historical ferrotype or “tintype” method of photography—and allows each cowboy or cattlewoman to speak in “Field Notes” with quiet candor.