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Photographs by Arthur Frank
Introduction by Dirk Johnson
11.25 x 7.5 inches
104 duotone photographs
Sports / Photo Essay / Monograph
“Arthur Frank has contributed so much to the preservation of the heritage of the west…with his wonderful photographs. He has been able to capture images of what the west represents, and in each of his photos, you can feel what it was and continues to be….He is able to frame the soul of the rodeo and the determination of the cowboys as they compete and participate in events that have their roots in century-old working ranches. Arthur is a tremendous artist who has earned a place as one of the most accomplished photographers of the western spirit.”
—United States Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming
After reading a front-page article in The New York Times about the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, Arthur Frank took a week off from work to travel around Wyoming, photographing whatever rodeos he could find. Once there, he found the culture of the American cowboy very much alive and kicking. Although their practical skills remain essential to modern ranching, it is the rodeo where their trade is praised, perpetuating the myth and mystique of America’s rough and rugged icon—the cowboy.
Cowboy Up, Frank’s first monograph, presents photographs taken at more than fifty rodeos—including high school, college, and women’s competitions in addition to professional rodeos—in Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Nevada, Arizona, Calgary, Alberta, even Binghamton, New York. As a former football and rugby player from New York City, Frank approached the roundup with an athlete’s understanding, while his profession provided distance from the clichés associated with the sport.
With photographs that capture the vigorous physicality of one of the world’s most erratic and dangerous sports, Cowboy Up delves deeply into the modern cowboy’s life, capturing riders during the jittery wait before the roundup, and back at the ranch, engaging in work that tamed the Wild West. Frank’s outsider perspective and insider access combine to provide a humanistic yet dynamic and inspiring view into a lifestyle that has become an American legend.
Arthur Frank’s photographs have been published in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, and American Cowboy. He has had solo exhibitions at SOHO Photo Gallery and Columbia University, New York and has participated in numerous group shows including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Frank’s rodeo photographs have won awards at New York’s Salmagundi Club and the Maine Photographic Workshops. He lives in New York City.
Dirk Johnson is the Chicago Bureau Chief of Newsweek magazine and the author of the best-selling book Biting the Dust: The Wild Ride and Dark Romance of the Rodeo Cowboy and the American West (Simon & Schuster, 1994). Johnson lives in Sycamore, Illinois.