Gallery Artists > William Schenck Biography :

William Schenck (b. 1947)  Artworks >>

Arizona artist Bill Schenck takes the flat pictorial images and large scale format common to Pop Art and applies them to the popular hero of the American West, the modern cowboy. Rather than portraying the West in a romantic manner like Remington and Russell, Schenck finds interest in the stylization and formalization of the scene, so that his figures are reduced to flat planes of line, color and patterns. At first glance, the subject appears obvious, yet further observation dematerializes the image until it becomes an abstract composition. Although his paintings depict the rowdy and noisy settings, his style seems somewhat static and subdued rather than dynamic. His paintings become studies in color and light, line and pattern. Schenck works from color transparencies, which he projects onto the canvas, transferring the picture and then filling in the sketch with paint. He considers his system a formal "paint-by-numbers" technique, one which allows him to control colors and tones so that the effect is flattened, without contours or shading. Formally, this technique resembles the works of other Pop artists, such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Born in Ohio in 1947, Bill Schenck was fascinated by cowboys and the West from a very early age, carrying into adulthood images from John Wayne movies & rodeos. He studied art at Columbus College of Art & Design in Ohio and the Kansas City Art Institute where he began using photographs as references as early as 1967. He worked in New York for five years, and developed his photo-realist style of cowboy paintings. In 1974 he moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to be closer to the western cowboy heritage he'd known only second-hand. True to that heritage, Schenck loves to play poker and until recently even rode bareback ponies in rodeos. He can be seen in a number of his paintings in the reflection shown in a cowgirl's sunglasses. Source

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